ST. LOUIS (BVM) – On Sept. 14, the St. Louis Cardinals pitching-catching duo of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina made MLB history when they started at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, marking their 325th game as a pair. This total surpassed the league’s battery record previously held by the Detroit Tigers’ Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan who did so in the 1960s and ’70s. With the record, the two have now fully implanted themselves into the conversation of best batterymates in MLB history.
The pair has played an illustrious 17 seasons in the majors together, reaching a number of historic achievements including two World Series championships, three National League pennants and a combined 13 All-Star selections. While both will have their own individual histories remembered, especially by Cardinals fans, it will be difficult for many to ever separate the two.
However, before the two ever began their journey in the MLB, they were teammates in the minors. When Wainwright was traded into the Cardinals system in December of 2003, he joined Molina on the team’s Triple-A affiliate Memphis, starting the legendary pairing.
Before Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina began their Major League partnership, they were battery mates for eight starts with Triple-A Memphis in 2004! pic.twitter.com/EYtj8QP04K
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) September 4, 2021
Their first game together on the MLB stage wasn’t until Sept. 23, 2005 when Wainwright threw one scoreless inning to Molina in a game against, fittingly, Milwaukee. Molina went on to catch Wainwright’s first MLB start as well when he made his starting debut on April 6, 2007.
The duo previously made MLB history this year when they won their 203rd game as a battery in a 15-6 win over the San Francisco Giants on May 15. The 203 wins set the new high mark over the Boston/Milwaukee Braves’ pair Warren Spahn and Del Crandall had from 1949-63. With a record at 212-112 in those games as of first pitch, the combo currently holds a .654 winning percentage for the team.
Prior to the season, Molina made indications that 2022 would be his last, ending the pair’s run at the end of the campaign. However, with the closest active pair of Chicago Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks and Willson Contreras being only at 105, their record seems to be in safe hands.
Surprisingly, there are some records the duo doesn’t hold yet. Their 2,136 1/3 regular-season innings together rank fourth while their 1,813 strikeouts in appearances together trails only the 1,876 compiled by Lolich and Freehan.
With the Cardinals currently seven games ahead of the Brewers for first place in the NL Central, the team seems likely headed to the playoffs which means more opportunities for the pair to make appearances. While the rest of the games may not have any records on the line, the historical value of baseball’s best battery will be too difficult to ignore.