St. Louis Cardinals: Martinez and Molina shine in Miami

PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 27: Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 27: Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez /

Tuesday night, all eyes were on Miami, as the All-Star break’s biggest event took place. The representatives for the St. Louis Cardinals did not disappoint.

The All-Star break was mostly, for the St. Louis Cardinals, a break, except for two players, Carlos Martinez and Yadier Molina. Martinez and Molina were the only representatives for the Cardinals at this summer’s All-Star game, but they did not disappoint.

After Max Scherzer started the game for the National League and Pat Neshek relieved him, it was time for Carlos Martinez to take the mound. Martinez was in a word, electric. Consistently putting up triple digits on his pitches and mowing through the American League lineup.

Of the eight batters Martinez faced, four struck out. Those strikeouts came against Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa and Corey Dickerson. Every one of those players has been absolutely dominant this year. When Carlos took the mound he looked every part of the ace fans are hoping for going forward.

While Molina did not get to catch his battery mate, he made an impression on the game. After taking over catching duties for starter Buster Posey, Molina didn’t waste much time. In his first at-bat with the National League trailing 1-0, Molina sent a shot into the bullpen in right field to tie the game.

More from Redbird Rants

Up until the 6th inning the All-Star game, pitchers dominated the game. Until Molina’s home run in the bottom of the inning, there was very little excitement for NL fans.

Entering the 9th inning Molina found himself leading off for the NL and going toe to toe with Craig Kimbrel. Molina stayed patient and found himself taking a four pitch walk. This gave the NL a man on and a chance to end the game in the ninth.

After a Kimbrel pitch got away from Gary Sanchez, Molina made his way to second and the NL had a man in scoring position. Kimbrel followed up his walk to Molina with a walk to Jake Lamb.

Unfortunately the NL couldn’t capitalize on the two walks. Thus, the All-Star game would find itself in extra innings for the first time since 2008.

Extra Innings wouldn’t last long as Chicago Cub Wade Davis would surrender a solo shot to Robinson Cano, the first batter he faced. Unfortunately, this would in turn make Cano the All-Star game MVP. Potentially taking the award away from Molina, who was the favorite for the award if the NL won.

Next: Cards make roster moves at the break

Martinez and Molina are expected to be key cogs for the St. Louis Cardinals in the second half. After finishing off a disappointing first half on a strong note, the team will need to keep the wins coming to have a chance at the division. The Cardinals will officially start the second half of the season on Friday when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates. Mike Leake will take the mound, looking to recapture the success he saw to start the year.