BOSTON -- St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, the platinum-standard at his position, won his sixth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove award and for the second time in five seasons also caught a Gold Glove winner.
Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright received the honors as the best fielder at their positions, Major League Baseball and the St. Louis-based Rawlings announced Tuesday night. The Gold Glove is the second of Wainwright's career, and this season is the first since 2010 that the Cardinals have had more than Molina win the game's highest defensive honor.
Wainwright and Molina were the first Cardinals' battery to win Gold Gloves in the same season when they both won in 2009.
Molina, 31, threw out 43 percent of attempted base-stealers this season and been the largest factor in neutralizing Boston's vaunted running game in this World Series. Molina's 45-percent rate of throwing runners is the highest among active catchers, and his arm and nimble footwork have led to some National League teams no longer even trying to steal against the catcher. Molina saved 12 runs on defensive this season, according to calculations kept by Baseball Info Solutions. That was the third-best in the majors.
He also had a career-low 3.16 catcher's ERA, a measure that reflects all of the pitchers' ERA when he is behind the plate.
Only three catchers have more Gold Glove awards than Molina: Bob Boone (seven), Johnny Bench (10), and the leader Ivan Rodriguez with 13.
"To me, he's unbelievable," Ivan Rodriguez said at the start of this World Series. "To me, he's the best at what he's doing -- calling games, holding runners, what he's doing behind the plate, blocking. What he does behind the plate with that pitching staff is the best. When you have a catcher who can call ballgames and bring every starter to six or seven innings no matter what, that tells you how good he is."
Wainwright is the first Cardinals' pitcher since Bob Gibson to win a second Gold Glove award with the club. Gibson won nine, and the Cardinals didn't have another pitcher win a Gold Glove until Joaquin Andujar in 1984. Wainwright saved four runs this season, according to Baseball Info Solutions. Wainwright did not commit an error this season in 61 chances. It is the second time in his career that he had an errorless season. The previous summer was 2009. In both seasons he led the NL with 19 wins and won a Gold Glove.
The two Gold Glove awards this season give the Cardinals' franchise 83 by 21 different players since Rawlings founded the award in 1957. No other franchise has more.
For the third year, Rawlings will award a Platinum Glove to the best fielder at any position. The nine winners from each league will be considered for the award. Molina has won the previous two.
CRAIG OK AFTER START
While the team was prepared to keep Allen Craig on the bench for Game 5 despite an initial plan to start him at first base, Craig woke up Monday morning with a different idea. His injured left foot, so achy the night before as he tried to run to first, had calmed, the pain relented. He felt, even if the club did not, that he should follow through on their plan.
"I felt like I should follow through on what we talking about doing," Craig said. "I felt like it was good enough to contribute. I wanted to go out there and do as much as I could. Felt like I should play if I could. So I did."
Craig grounded out in his three at-bats but said after the game that felt fine, ready to play in Game 6. With American League rules back in play, Craig is expected to start at designated hitter. Matheny said Craig "felt good" a day after the game.
HANDLING BOSTON'S BUZZ
When the Cardinals arrive at the ballpark for tonight's Game 6, they will do so by cutting through a metro area pulsating with expectations. The Red Sox have not clinched a World Series at home since 1918, and this year's run at a third championship in 10 years has galvanized a city still mourning the Patriots' Day bombing. Matheny suggested by playing at Fenway earlier in the series the Cardinals are better prepared for what awaits them at Fenway, even with clinching in the air.
"The ramped up atmosphere is really one of the perks and benefits of playing in the postseason," Matheny said. "Guys have played their whole career or dream about being this atmosphere where ... the place is packed and alive and buzzing. That's (not) a detriment to our success. I think there is a little bit to be said about the familiarity of the situation concerning the field. The boys wondered how Fenway would look, how it would play. Right now we have a better feel for their club, a better feel for their field."
Molina's hitless Game 6 snapped his personal hitting streak at seven consecutive World Series games, dating back to 2011. ... Molina will appear in his 21st World Series game tonight. That trails only Yankees captain Derek Jeter among active players. Jeter has 38. ... Cardinals prospect Stephen Piscotty was selected for the Arizona Fall League's "Fall Stars Game," an All-Star game-style exhibition for the invitation only league. Piscotty, 22, has hit .347 with five RBIs and a .411 on-base percentage in 13 games in the AFL. An outfielder, Piscotty was the 36th overall pick in the 2012 draft. He and Game 6 starter Michael Wacha were the two compensation picks the Cardinals received when Albert Pujols signed with the Los Angeles Angels.
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