ST. LOUIS -- Perhaps the most intriguing matchup in the Cardinals' Interleague series against the Yankees does not actually involve a pitcher or a hitter at all, but rather Yadier Molina and his ability to control New York's normally successful running game.
The Yankees entered Tuesday ranked second in the Majors with an 85 percent success rate on stolen-base attempts. It's not as if they haven't made many attempts, either, as both Jacoby Ellsbury (12) and Brett Gardner (11) rank in the top seven among American League basestealers.
The pair went 1-for-2 against Molina on Monday, a rate actually more successful than most. Molina leads the Majors with a caught-stealing percentage of 54.2, and it's a figure that has the Yankees on notice.
"Any time Yadi's up, behind the dish or at the plate, he just impacts the game so many different ways," said New York's Brendan Ryan, a former teammate of Molina's. "And a lot of it's not even in the scorebook."
"He's tough to run against," added Gardner.
Molina has not eclipsed the 50 percent success rate in throwing out runners over a full season since 2007, when he led the Majors by throwing out 54 percent. Unquantifiable, too, is how many runners are stopped merely by his reputation alone.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.