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First Pitch: Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina make history with 325th start

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Wainwright and Molina tie MLB record with  324th battery start game

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) and catcher Yadier Molina (4) take the field as battery mates for the 324th time — tying Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan for the most starts in Major League history — before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, at Busch Stadium. 

In today’s 10 a.m. video, columnist Ben Hochman discusses the Cardinals’ legendary duo of Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright on the day of their record-breaking 325th start together. And, as always, Hochman picks a random St. Louis Cards card from the hat. Ten Hochman is presented by Window Nation!

First Pitch is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. at Busch Stadium.

In a season of historic moments, the Cardinals get at least one more notch in the record book. Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina will make their 325th start as a battery tonight, setting the record for most appearances by a pitcher and catcher in baseball history.

To commemorate the moment, Yadier Molina will wear a specially designed catcher's helmet that features the two on either ear flap. The night is also expected to be filled with celebration in other ways, including video board tributes and a montage of the two. 

The Cardinals failed to take advantage of the Brewers bullpen day yesterday and will now face Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes in the second game of the two-game series, which is also the final game against the Brewers at home. If the Cardinals do get past Burnes to the bullpen, they will be at an advantage.

Manager Oliver Marmol, who has in the past said he respected the game planning and chess match that the Brewers bring to each game, has played games of his own the past two games, waiting longer than normal to release his lineups. While the order of the lineup was not released, he did tell writers who would be featured before the game.

Ultimately, Marmol has chosen Albert Pujols again for the starting lineup — Pujols will DH in his quest for 700 home runs despite the unfavorable matchup against Burnes. Marmol indicated he is still trying to find the perfect methodology for giving Pujols opportunities to reach the home run plateau, while also optimizing his use.

The outfield will be a unique combination, seeing breakout sophomore Lars Nootbaar in center field, with Alec Burleson and Corey Dickerson flanking him. With O'Neill starting the day on the bench, Dickerson will be the lone Gold Glove Award winner in the outfield. 

As crowds flock to witness Pujols swing for history, how often will Cardinals start him?
Goold: What happens in the post-Adam Wainwright era?

Lineups

CARDINALS (83-59) 

1. Tommy Edman, SS

2. Corey Dickerson, LF

3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B

4. Nolan Arenado, 3B

5. Brendan Donovan, 2B

6. Albert Pujols, DH

7. Alec Burleson, RF

8. Yadier Molina, C

9. Lars Nootbaar, CF

P: Adam Wainwright, RHP

BREWERS (76-66)

1. Christian Yelich, LF

2. Willy Adames, SS

3. Rowdy Tellez, 1B

4. Hunter Renfroe, RF

5. Kolten Wong, 2B

6. Andrew McCutchen, DH

7. Jace Peterson, 3B

8. Omar Narvaez, C

9. Tyrone Taylor, CF

P: Corbin Burnes, RHP

Pitching Matchup

RHP Adam Wainwright (10-9, 3.33 ERA): Adam Wainwright has struggled to find longevity in his recent starts, going five innings in each of his past two starts. In four starts against the Brewers this year, Waino is 0-2 with a 4.70 ERA.

RHP Corbin Burnes (10-6, 2.93 ERA): The Brewers ace will be needed tonight if Milwaukee wants to keep pace in the NL Central race. The hard-throwing righty has dominated the Cardinals all season to the tune of an 0.43 ERA and a 11.6 strikeouts per nine. 

Wild Cards

  • Adam Wainwright will be making the 387th start of his career tonight, tying Jesse Haines for third in franchise history. 
  • With three bases tonight, Yadier Molina would pass Lance Parrish (3119) for ninth all time among primary catchers. With one RBI he would tie Brian McCann (1018) for 12th all time by a primary catcher as well. 
Quick hits: Parade of Brewers relievers stymie Cardinals to nibble into division lead

Injury Report 

  • Dylan Carlson (thumb) has begun baseball activities with throws Monday and swings on Tuesday. The Cardinals hope to send him on a rehab assignment starting Friday. (Updated Sept. 14)
  • Left-hander Steven Matz (torn MCL) threw one inning in relief, sitting down all three hitters he faced on 13 pitches. He will pitch again Thursday and then return to St. Louis to be reevaluated by the coaching staff. (Updated Sept. 14)
  • RHP Drew VerHagen (hip) and RHP Alex Reyes (shoulder) underwent season-ending surgeries. Both right-handed pitchers are expected to be ready for spring training after a winter of recovery. (Updated Aug. 20)

Up Next

In their final extended home stand of the season, the Cardinals will host the Milwaukee Brewers for two games before having the Cincinnati Reds come to town for a five-game series, including a doubleheader Saturday. They will then head on a west-coast road trip to LA and San Diego.  

Check back here throughout the afternoon and evening for immediate coverage of the game and any news that surfaces from the Cardinals' pre-game activities. We will publish expanded game coverage online Wednesday night, and also in the pages of Thursday's Post-Dispatch.

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