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The Cardinals’ pitchers throw so hard they broke Yadier Molina’s mitt

Oct 25, 2013, 11:05 PM EDT

yadier molina getty Getty Images

Cardinals pitching staffs of the past, particularly under former pitching coach Dave Duncan, were famous for the prodigious rate at which they generated ground balls. The 2013 staff, however, will be known for young arm after young arm hitting the upper 90’s and even the 100’s on the radar gun. When closer Trevor Rosenthal shut down the Red Sox in 1-2-3 order in Game 2, he threw 11 pitches. All of them were fastballs. One was 95 MPH, one was 96, four were 97, four were 98, and one was 99. Good luck with that, hitters.

Illustrating just how hard Cardinals pitchers throw, ESPN’s Jayson Stark provides us with this:

[Molina] laughed and reached into his locker. He dug out his mitt. He held it up for his guests to see. At the top of the pocket, where his palm would be when holding it, the leather was so worn, it was torn. Ripped. Split.


And, he was asked, has that ever happened before — that he chewed threw two game mitts in the same season?

“Never,” he said. “First time.”

He had to ditch the first one at the All-Star break, he said. And that’s a first, too.

“It is,” he said. “These guys are throwing 98-99 [miles per hour]. But I don’t care about that.”

Stark adds in the article that six Cardinals pitchers averaged 93.5 MPH or higher on their fastballs according to Pitch F/X data: Rosenthal (97.3 MPH), Carlos Martinez (96.7), Kevin Siegrist (95.2), Joe Kelly (94.9), Shelby Miller (93.7), and Michael Wacha (93.5).

  1. cardslifer - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Chewed threw?

    As Key would say……

    C’mon Mannnnnnn

  2. peterjohnjoseph - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Wow, as a former catcher I can literally feel the pain in my hand right now just thinking about that. While it just feels like a hard smack in the center of your palm, its the part of your palm connected to your thumb that takes the most damage. I still have sensitivity and pain there and its been years. Never mind the lack of mobility my thumb has now. I can’t imagine what that must feel like through a 162 game season, and playoffs with that group of pitchers. More power to him.

  3. missthemexpos - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    That explains why so many balls go to the backstop on J. P. Arencibia of the Blue Jays, he is trying to save wear and tear on his catchers mitt that would come by actually catching the baseball.

    • paperlions - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:33 PM

      Good point. That may also explain why he whiffs so much, trying to not break his bats.

  4. jwbiii - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    As long as it doesn’t break his hand, no problem. Gloves are easily replaceable. Yadier Molina isn’t.

  5. saintsfire - Oct 26, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    fastballs can be hit even if they are 98-100mph

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Your comment is irrelevant to the story.

    • cincinata - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Yes, they can, if one is extremely lucky. We had a couple of 100 MPH hit out of the park on Chapman here in Cinci. However, a batter has to be very, very fortunate to hit one of them, even if it is right down the middle. He has to be swinging about the time the pitch leaves the hand, and has to be right on the location. Ask any Dodger or Red Sox player. So, your comment is foolish.

  6. doctorrustbelt - Oct 26, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Let’s Be Honest…. no one really cares.

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:01 AM


    • cincinata - Oct 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM


      You have to be in Pittsburgh.

  7. watchfullhose - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM

    Neck tattoos

  8. bbk1000 - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    He looks like Chaz Bono……

    • spudchukar - Oct 26, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Wish I could be around when you tell him that to his face.

  9. gibbyfan - Oct 26, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I have a vague memory of TIm Mccarver actaually haveing to replace a glove mid game while catching Bob GIbson……..nay old Card fans that remember that…….I believe at the time it was unusual enough to be news fun to be able to ask Mc Carver about it

    • paperlions - Oct 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      I can’t think of anything that would be fun “to ask McCarver about”….because if you ask him a question, he’ll start talking, and don’t see anything fun about that.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:04 PM

        Not so sure about that. The Bob Gibson “McCarver get back behind the plate. The only thing you know about pitching is that you can’t hit it” story gets me every time. And McCarver loves telling it too.

      • paperlions - Oct 26, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Think of a person you know that always tries to be funny, but never is. You see, one time, ONE TIME, this person said something really really funny. A fluke. It happens. It is the same thing here. McCarver told one story that was funny, and he has spent the last 35 years telling other stories trying to be funny.

        Laughing at the jokes/stories of the unfunny is a dangerous thing that should not be encouraged.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 26, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        I guess opinions are what makes the world go round Paper–or maybe it was that cluthch homer he hit against the Yankees in the 64 series…..I never thought of him as a comedian but I find he has great insights and knowledge about the game, seems humble and easy going……..honestly–how could you not like Mc Carver??

      • paperlions - Oct 26, 2013 at 3:23 PM

        Well, because he doesn’t have insights or knowledge about the game for one. He knows a lot of people in the game, which is not the same as knowing the game. He babbles on endlessly without saying anything coherent. He contradicts himself all the time. He actively detracts from the enjoyment of watching a game.

        He seems to be trying to impress the viewer with his knowledge, which might have passed for “insightful” in the 70s, but he doesn’t appear to have learned anything about baseball since he retired. Almost everything he says is either obvious or wrong. I guess you have to admire how he just powers through, ignoring how often he’s wrong….but he is barely more insightful about baseball than Joe Morgan.

      • paperlions - Oct 26, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        …and almost no one likes McCarver as an announcer. Have you not noticed that? It is like asking, how could you not like Joe Buck calling a game? There is simply nothing there to like.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        agree on Joe Buck actually………seems arrogant to me……but give me an example of what Mccarver is not right about…..I mean who for example knows more and what does that mean exactly…..I mean Buck never played (not that it’s brain surgery) but you can’t be around th egame aslong as Mc carver and not know baseball—completely different for me—have heard most people seem to like him. Who would you consider to be “good”.again not trying to pick a fight here–just trying to see where a fellow cardinal fan coming from.

      • gibbyfan - Oct 26, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        Oh and as I’m sure you know –he did win the Frick award and will be in the HOF as a broadcaster…………so somebody besides me must think he’s ok

  10. notsofast10 - Oct 26, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    So velocities are miraculously up even over the last 5 years. So now some of the no names coming out of the bull pens for almost every team are throwing 97 – 100 MPH. That was never the case back in the old days of say 2008 and before. Just can’t tell me that this high number of close to 100 MPH throwers are clean. I may even go out on a limb and guess that baseball is dirtier than cycling ever was. The drug testing is not detecting very many people at all yet as in the Biogenesis case, even those that are not caught are still cheating. Some day soon it will all come out and Baseball will be seen as surpassing Cycling as the sport with the most cheaters! More money in Baseball than Cycling so the risk/reward to cheat is even greater. Goes all the way from Pro to College to High School! Mark my words!

  11. saintsfire - Nov 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    at that speed the pitcher is supplying most of the power

    Boston manned up and attacked those 96-100 mph fastballs and they won the crown

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