Two catchers likely to meet again in the Hall of Fame will get an opportunity to share one final afternoon on the field Saturday when the St. Louis Cardinals and their longtime standout Yadier Molina will be on hand for the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey Day.
Posey announced his retirement shortly after the Giants — following a record-breaking, 107-win regular season — were eliminated from the playoffs by the Los Angeles Dodgers last October.
San Francisco has scheduled a formal goodbye for Saturday, giving its fans a chance to show their appreciation for the contributions of the 2012 National League MVP, seven-time All-Star and three-time world champion to the franchise over his 12-year career.
Posey retired at age 34 (he’s since turned 35) after one of his most productive seasons, one in which he hit .304 with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs.
He turned over primary catching responsibilities to 25-year-old rookie Joey Bart, who has struggled offensively this season, hitting just .176 with three homers and five RBIs.
Posey has returned to his native Georgia with his wife and four children, but he disclosed this week he’d like to be involved in the Giants’ organization in some form in the future.
“I always want to be attached to the game, attached to the Giants,” he said. “Just kind of working through right now what that’s going to look like for myself and my family as far as the type of time commitment. But 100% want to stay in-tune with what’s going on in the game, the game I’ve loved since before I can remember.”
The 39-year-old Molina has announced this will be his final season. He sat out Friday’s 3-2 win over the Giants and is one RBI shy of reaching the 1,000 milestone in his career.
The Cardinals’ second straight win in the four-game series came as the Giants were celebrating Willie Mays’ 91st birthday. Mays is the oldest living Hall of Famer.
Molina recorded his 999th career RBI with a solo home run in Thursday’s series opener, a 7-1 Cardinals win. He hopes to use it as a springboard to improve upon a .228 average this season.
“I’m starting to see the ball pretty good,” he said after the homer. “I’m having better at-bats. I’m feeling good. … Hopefully, I can keep doing what I’m doing right now.”
Molina also is on the doorstep of another significant accomplishment, as he and Adam Wainwright have been the starting battery for 202 wins in their careers, tying the all-time record set by Warren Spahn and Del Crandall.
Wainwright was not scheduled to pitch in the San Francisco series even before having to be placed on the COVID injured list Friday. His next start has been pushed back indefinitely.
Steven Matz (3-1, 4.56 ERA) is expected to be activated off the bereavement list and start Saturday’s game for St. Louis, opposed by Logan Webb (3-1, 3.26).
Matz is coming off an impressive effort in Monday’s 1-0 home win over Kansas City, limiting the Royals to four hits in six innings.
The left-hander has pitched well against the Giants in his career, going 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA in four starts.
Webb hasn’t been nearly as effective in two career starts against the Cardinals, going 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA.
The right-hander had his start pushed back two days after a third straight subpar performance in a 9-3 win over the Washington Nationals last Saturday. He’s served up nine runs and 24 hits in his past 16 1/3 innings.
–Field Level Media