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Roenicke's vote for NL MVP would go to Molina

MILWAUKEE -- Is Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina the Most Valuable Player in the National League?

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thinks so.

"Yeah, and I wouldn't just say that for this year, either," Roenicke said. "When you're voting on things, his defense should come into it. It should be 50 percent of what you're looking at, for me, because of what he does behind the plate and how he handles that staff, what he does to baserunners, the whole package.

"What percentage do the writers usually give on the MVP to defense? Very small. With this, when you're talking about a catcher and what he does to a game, he should be 50/50. That outweighs, for me, any [other player's] offensive numbers. As long as he is doing well offensively, it outweighs everyone."

Molina is leading the NL in hitting, entering Wednesday with a .336 average.

"Thanks to us," Roenicke joked.

Molina was 6-for-9 in the first two games of the series with two doubles, a home run, three RBIs and three runs, and was back in the lineup for Wednesday's afternoon series finale. In his first 12 games against the Brewers this season, he hit .417 (20-for-48).

Milwaukee finally cooled Molina down in Wednesday's 8-6 Cardinals win, as he went 0-for-4.

On Tuesday, Brewers starter Kyle Lohse made exactly the pitch he wanted to Molina -- a fastball inside -- and Molina hit a two-run home run for a 3-0 St. Louis lead. Roenicke was asked whether he simply tipped his cap or felt a need to re-examine the game plan.

"I don't think it's re-examining the plan, because we've been trying to figure out the plan," Roenicke said. "When he looks for a pitch, he can hit any pitch you throw. But if he's in just his basic approach, there are some spots you can go to. You have to get it there.

"Last night … I told [pitching coach Rick Kranitz] to check it out, and he came back and said, 'He shouldn't be able to hit that pitch.' It tells me he was either thinking along with Kyle and had a feeling we were going to come back in, or something. Because you shouldn't be able to hit a pitcher's pitch."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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