Today, October 19, is a special date in St. Louis Cardinals history.
It was Game 7 of the NLCS, and the 83-win Cardinals were battling it out with the 97-win New York Mets.
The game was tied entering the ninth inning.
With one runner on, Molina delivered a crushing blow that quieted the Shea Stadium crowd, putting St. Louis ahead 3-1.
Now, they were three outs away from a date with the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, but the Mets refused to go quietly, mounting a rally against Wainwright.
And with two out, notorious Cardinal killer Carlos Beltran was the last thing standing between the Cards and their 17th NL pennant.
Wainwright got ahead 0-2 and reared back to throw his signature curveball.
Beltran stood and watched as strike three was called and the Cards advanced to the Fall Classic.
#OTD 2006 – Yadier Molina hits a two-run homer and Adam Wainwright freezes Carlos Beltran with a nasty curve with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning giving the Cardinals a 3-1 victory in game 7 of the NLCS. #STLCards https://t.co/7Ik99vfOZd
— Augie Nash (@AugieNash) October 19, 2022
Waino and Yadi’s First Taste Of History
This was an all-time great moment in Cardinals history, and it was the first of many Wainwright and Molina would share together over the next decade-and-a-half.
While Molina’s career is over, and Wainwright’s might be as well, the two had many great moments together.
From here, we all know what happened next.
Wainwright and Molina closed out the World Series a week later, giving the Cards their first championship since 1982.
The two Cards legends were always at their best in the postseason.
Molina’s go-ahead home run against the Mets and Wainwright’s wicked curveball to fan Beltran are two legendary moments that will live on, not just in Cardinals history, but in postseason history as well.