St. Louis Cardinals: 3 things to watch for in 2022

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ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 03: Yadier Molina #4 and Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals make their way to the dugout prior to a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on June 3, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. The pair made their 284th start together, the fourth-most starts among pitcher-catcher batteries in MLB history. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 03: Yadier Molina #4 and Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals make their way to the dugout prior to a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium on June 3, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. The pair made their 284th start together, the fourth-most starts among pitcher-catcher batteries in MLB history. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 11: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with Yadier Molina #4 after pitching a complete game and defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 at PNC Park on August 11, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – AUGUST 11: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates with Yadier Molina #4 after pitching a complete game and defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 at PNC Park on August 11, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The swan songs of Molina and Wainwright

Molina has already signed a one-year contract that will keep him in St. Louis, and while Wainwright has not signed yet, it seems likely that he will remain a Cardinal for his final season. The biggest reason that I don’t want a season stoppage next year is that I want to see Molina and Wainwright receive their deserved farewells.

If Molina and Wainwright stay healthy and the season goes off without a hitch, they will likely break the all-time record for games between a pitcher and a catcher, currently held by Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan at 324 games.

I don’t think Wainwright and Molina will receive quite the leaguewide farewell party that Derek Jeter and David Ortiz did, but the fact that the two have stayed together their entire illustrious careers is remarkable and should be recognized. The season should be devoted to celebrating their contributions, and Cardinals fans won’t be the only ones celebrating: Fans of other National League Central teams will be overjoyed at no longer having to face them.

Next. 7 pleasant surprises for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021. dark

2022 is going to be an interesting year, and I can’t wait for it. Whether I’m watching the shortstop battle or the beginnings and ends of great Cardinals careers, it’s going to be another fun ride.

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