ST. LOUIS — After watching him for 19 years, it's no surprise to St. Louis Cardinals fans just how smart Yadier Molina is on a baseball field. But on Saturday, he proved it once again.
The San Francisco Giants had runners on first and third with two outs in the fifth inning and Mike Yastrzemski at the plate and the Cardinals up by a run.
On a 1-2 count, Molina called for a pitch-out from starter Dakota Hudson, thinking the runner on first would be attempting a steal of second, and actually stood all the way up behind home plate.
Molina called it just right, and fired the ball down to Edmundo Sosa, who nabbed runner Joc Pederson before he even got close to second base.
It was an impressive play on its own, but it gets even more impressive when you take a look at everything Molina was processing as it happened.
A video clip from the Giants' broadcast of Saturday's game shared on Twitter by user @VanHicklestein, showed just how attentive Yadi can be.
Molina knew the Giants were putting a runner in motion because he had been astutely reading San Francisco's coaching staff to see if it looked like they were going to try and mix things up.
He realized the Giants were putting a play on, and snuffed it out to end the threat.
"You could kind of see him looking over there the whole time and that's just part of his genius behind the plate. He called a great game, the guy rakes too, so it was just a fun game overall. I think that's just another part of his game that you have to sit there and enjoy as a baseball fan," Hudson said after the game.
The Cardinals went on to shut out the Giants for a 4-0 victory on Saturday, with Molina going 2 for 4 with a double. Molina also collected his 2,128th career hit, to pass Mike Piazza for the sixth-most hits by a catcher in baseball history.