That’s how you deal with trash talk and cleat-kicking and all of that stuff.
Colby Rasmus’ grand slam in the fifth broke it open on the way to a 6-1 Cardinals’ victory, resulting in a sweep of the Reds. But this game was defined by Adam Wainwright. He pitched two-hit ball over seven shutout innings, running his record to 17-6 and pushing his ERA down to 1.99. shutting down the Reds’ bats and, presumably shutting the mouth of Brandon Phillips for a little while. Phillips, for what it’s worth, was 2 for 14 in the series.
The Cardinals are now one game up on in the standings. But, if the silence of the Great American Ballpark crowd and dejected demeanor of the Reds players as they packed up their stuff in the dugout after game is any guide, they are about a million miles ahead of the Reds in morale.
On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.
Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.
Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.