Yadi steals second, gets standing ovation: 'Guy's got wheels'

April 29th, 2022

ST. LOUIS -- Dakota Hudson took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Cardinals pounded out 15 hits in an 8-3 victory over the D-backs on Thursday night at a rain-soaked Busch Stadium. However, the biggest ovation of the game came in the bottom of the sixth when 39-year-old catcher swiped second and playfully flashed a big smile to the cheering crowd.

Molina, who has announced that this will be his final season, caught the D-backs napping in the sixth inning when he stole second base with one out and two strikes on Paul DeJong. When Corbin Martin paid little to no attention to Molina, the Cardinals catcher got a two-step running start and beat the throw of Carson Kelly, a former Cardinal who was once believed to be the successor to Molina in St. Louis.

"Believe it -- that’s the only way that I can do it when it comes to stealing bases," Molina said of taking advantage of situations where pitchers don't pay attention to him.

Molina, known primarily as a catcher who has prevented stolen bases for nearly two decades, has had a knack for swiping bags when opponents overlook him on the basepaths. Incredibly, the 19-year veteran has stolen 10 consecutive bases and has not been thrown out trying to steal since Sept. 5, 2018, at Washington. Upon stealing second on Thursday, Cardinals fans not only gave Molina a standing ovation, but they repeatedly chanted, “Yadi! Yadi! Yadi!”

"Guy's got wheels," raved Hudson, who allowed just one hit over six innings and lowered his season ERA to 2.75. "What can’t he do? Yadi is a baseball genius."

In 2,158 career games, Molina has 70 steals and has been caught stealing 37 times. He has swiped at least one bag every season except in 2004, '08 and '20 (when he didn't attempt any).

Molina, who had two hits on Thursday, helped St. Louis push its consecutive stolen base streak to 18 on the season. It’s the Cardinals' longest such streak since 1998. The Cards have stolen bases on 19 of 20 tries this season, with Albert Pujols being the lone player cut down on the basepaths all season.