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Will the Rangers’ runners keep testing Yadier Molina’s arm?

Oct 20, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

yadier-molina-cardinals-throwing Getty Images

Running has been a big part of the Rangers’ offense all year, as they ranked fourth among AL teams in steals during the regular season and swiped seven bases in 10 games through the first two playoff rounds.

Texas tried to get that running game going right away in Game 1 of the World Series last night and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina gunned down leadoff hitter Ian Kinsler on a failed hit-and-run in the first inning. And after that the Rangers never attempted another steal in a 3-2 loss.

Molina has established himself as one of the best-throwing catchers of all time, throwing out 44 percent of steal attempts during his career while leading the league three times in seven full seasons. Asked afterward if he expects the Rangers to continue testing him, Molina replied: “Go ahead, man. I’m going to be ready for it.”

Obviously the Rangers’ lineup is more than capable of scoring runs in bunches without base-stealing being a big factor, but with running against Molina likely taking away as many scoring opportunities as it creates it’ll be interesting to see if manager Ron Washington is willing to put the red light on at times.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 20, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Shouldn’t run against Yadier. He truly does shut down the running game. It would just be giving the Cards outs. Philadelphia has one of the best running games (based upon percentage of success) and he gunned them down over and over. Just not worth it if I’m Ron Washington.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      He truly does shut down the running game.

      Damn! The Eagles should get that man in a football uniform!

    • artisan3m - Oct 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM

      The only Ranger with a chance against Molina’s arm is Gentry. He is in the league’s top five for speed but his backup role will probably not give that many opportunities. And hey, Ron ~ ~ ~ who the Hell is German and why would you use HIM as a pinch-hitter?

  2. cur68 - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Wait for warmer weather to try it again. Ice cold and caught stealing is now way to go through the ball game, son.

  3. aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Wow, 44%…that is badass in the extreme.

  4. salukis92 - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Hey “aceshigh” … Your snippy attempt at humor just show’s your ignorance of the game. That 44% put out percentage ranks as at or near the ALL TIME high. May not seem like a high percentage but for this stat it’s significant. Sounds like 44% was your school grade average smart guy.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      I don’t think he was being snippy at all. I’m pretty sure his comment should be taken at face value.

    • cur68 - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:22 PM

      Please forgive me for intruding on your discussion gents but I took aces comment at face value, simply because its true what he said. Either way we need a sarcasm font on these here interwebs.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Working on it…

      • lovesmesomeme - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        Thanks for the clarification and I completely agree with you. Maybe we should have emoticons that show the different phases of facial expressions. For example something between a full on frown and a full on furrowed eyebrow. Thoughts or comments???

      • purnellmeagrejr - Oct 21, 2011 at 8:14 AM

        or you could think? Nah …

  5. cintiphil - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    The Reds have trouble with Molina. Only one or two of our guys have a better than 50/50 chance of beating him, and even then it is difficult. I have only seen Bench throw out guys like Molina does. Whether we like him or not, he is a very good catcher, and one thing more, is that we have had our best base runners picked off 1st base after the pitch to the plate. For the Rangers: WATCH YOU BACK!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:31 PM

      Cincy: Shhhhh! He almost threw behind the runner at 1st on two occassions last night.
      We don’t want to give the American League any scouting reports. Shhhh.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      Just a quick question/comment: Please know I mention this will the upmost sincereity. Most of my buddies are Redlegs fans (others are Cubs fans). I have seen a handful of people make a comment about not liking Molina (the others would love to have them on their team).
      They all refer back to the brawl when deciding they don’t like him.
      Let me ask you (again…I am being sincere)…if an opposing player totally disrespected your team (to the freaking media no less) like #4 did last year and then tried to give you the ole’ shin tap like your homeboy’s…would you NOT absolutely EXPECT your Catcher to have his teammates back? That is what I call a teammate.

      • paperlions - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        I completely agree. His “get that shit out of here” response was exactly what should have been done. You don’t call an entire team a bunch of whiney bitches and then do a “let’s have a good game today” shin guard tap.

      • cintiphil - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        I can tell you guys that we all like Brandon here. He is so likable, that he thought he could smooze Molina into liking him too, after he dissed the cards the day before. Big mistake. I don’t know what Brandon was thinking, but the tap on the shin guards is a friendly gesture just like picking up the mask for him after a play. But,why did he think Molina would feel this was a friendly gesture just after calling them out? I said before and some of my friends here agree, that if Molina doesn’t tell him where to get off, I would not want him on my team. I never played close to this level, but that was just a stupid move. The only people who don’t agree are strictly the homers.

  6. stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    I sure hope they continue to run. About 45 minutes ago I just posted something about him gunning down Kinsler on anothe blog. You talk about a B.B. He had him by 4 feet.
    Certainly set an early tone.
    And for the record…at first read I ALSO took Aces comment as scarcasm.

    • paperlions - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Just so you know how often I agree with you…I’ll start noting them…it is probably more often than you think.

      I also hope they keep running on him…and it isn’t just Molina, the staff in general is good at holding runners that extra split second that gives Yadi a better chance.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        Oh your dead on Paper. They will hold…hold…look back again…throw over…they do a great job at it. Deal on the agreements…sometimes it’s hard to tell. Not that it is a huge deal. After all…a good baseball related debate (or any debate for that matter)…but especially baseball…gets me fired up.

  7. APBA Guy - Oct 20, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    I think you have to keep testing him, but you have to be smart about it. Getting caught on a failed hit and run, the operative part of that is “failed”. It happens. Defensively, Yadier is as good as they come. But you steal on the pitcher. St. Louis expects to be in a lot of close games so they work on things like time to home plate, holding the runner, things that the Rangers don’t see that much in the AL. Even the Giants didn’t do that much work on those things.

    The other key in the game was the way that St. Louis’ scouting report was executed by the pitching staff: no inner half and up stuff to Cruz, lots of movement to Beltre down and in, no fastballs to Josh. Really, perfect execution, except for one pitch to Napoli.

    Even with that, it was a one run game. Like Wash said, the Rangers didn’t lose, St. Louis won.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      I agree APBA. Pretty much with your entire post. I also hope they contine to run though. LOL!

  8. chadh88 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    For the most part the Rangers shouldn’t try to run too much, but tonight would be the exception with Garcia going. He has been about the worst on our staff at holding runners for whatever reason and he seems to be easily rattled. I’m sure pitching in his first World Series game won’t help matters. So they should test him tonight, but I wouldn’t make it a theme for the series.

  9. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 21, 2011 at 8:15 AM

    like watching the Dolphins trying to test Revis.

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