As we wait and wonder (and admittedly worry) about today’s wild card playoff game, we decided to take a look back at how the St. Louis Cardinals reached the post-season.
A quick look, anyway, via those we honored with our monthly BAMF award so we could decide which Cardinal was the baddest of the bad-asses and most deserved being named the ultimate 2012 BAMF.
And was there any doubt?
Of course not.
Because the 2012 Cardinals wouldn’t be playing later this afternoon without Yadier Molina.
He final regular season numbers: .315/.373/.501 — all career highs. He also had 159 hits, 22 home runs, 76 RBI, 65 runs scored and — best of all — 12 stolen bases. Those also are all career highs. His .315 batting average also was tops on the Cards for 2012.
Then, of course, there’s where Yadi really excels: on defense. He caught 138 games this season, threw out 48 percent of those trying to steal against him (the league average is 27 percent) and had a fielding percentage of .997. Which is why things like this are just Yadi being Yadi. (Ah, that fist pump!)
Some other highlights of Yadi’s 2012:
He signed a five-year contract extension in March, meaning he’ll continue being a Cardinals BAMF through at least 2017.
He had career hit No. 1,000 in September — an infield single, of course.
He became just the second catcher in Cardinals history to hit 20 homers in a season, joining Ted Simmons (who hit 21 in 1980) — as well as the historic fifth Cardinal to have 20 or more homers in a season for the first time ever.
And, of course, he was indestructible — no matter how hard opponents might try to stop him.
Yes, Yadi triumphed over it all this season: back stiffness, twisted ankle, shoulder and neck pain, whatever else you could think of — and he just kept on going.
Because he’s a BAMF.
And here’s to all our monthly BAMF winners as well — because, even when you’re Yadier Molina, it does take an entire team to get to the post-season.
- April: Lance Lynn
- May: Carlos Beltran (with Yadi as runner-up)
- June: Beltran (winning in a 10-9 vote over Matt Holliday)
- July: Holliday (winning the vote 7-6-3 over David Freese and Mitchell Boggs)
- August: Yadi (more pictures!)
- September: Pete Kozma
And, of course, a special mention to Chris Carpenter as the king of all BAMFs for not letting something as insignificant as surgery to remove a rib stop him from pitching in 2012.
So thanks, Yadi, for all you did during the 2012 regular season to get the Cardinals to this wild card playoff game that starts in nine hours. Here’s to another terrific game for you today — and the rest of the Cardinals too, especially Kyle Lohse.
Because the march to #12in12 is just getting started.
Christine Coleman is the senior St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.