St. Louis Cardinals teammates battling time and lockout

Sep 8, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) hugs starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) after the Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2021; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina (4) hugs starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) after the Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /
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324. That is the magic number for St. Louis Cardinals teammates Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina. It is also a number that they should be able to reach easily with a normal regular season, as they are just 20 outings together from reaching that mark and becoming the battery to have been together for the most games in MLB history.

Time is also of the essence when it comes to that mark. Wainwright and Molina are back for 2022 and are planning to retire at the end of the season. That means both need to remain healthy in order to set the record.

St. Louis Cardinals legends battling lockout, time

The legendary duo also have something else to battle in addition to their health and Father Time. The MLB lockout shows no signs of ending any time soon, especially now that the MLBPA has rejected the league’s call for a federal mediator. Chances are, games are going to be lost in 2022, be it in spring training or the regular season.

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This also causes a problem for Molina and Wainwright. The more games that are lost, the fewer chances they will have to set that record. While there should be enough games to allow that to happen, provided the league actually negotiates in good faith, each game that is lost cuts the margin for error even closer.

It also limits the Cardinals’ ability to tweak their pitching staff during the season. They would likely want to have that duo set the record at home, allowing those legends to get the adulation they deserve from the home crowd. It will be much harder to make that happen with fewer games.

It does not have to be this way. The Cardinals are one of the pre-eminent teams in the game, a historic franchise noted for success and incredible players. These two legends of the franchise should get the sendoff they deserve, including the record they have worked so hard to achieve. Instead, they are battling forces beyond their control as the owner’s pursuit of the almighty dollar could rip history away from them.

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St. Louis Cardinals teammates Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina are on the cusp of history. But time, and the lockout, are not on their side.