Molina on his sixth All-Star Game: 'I'm glad the fans took the time to vote'

News-DemocratJuly 7, 2014 

— Yadier Molina's sixth All-Star Game will be as significant as his first.

"It's the same feeling. It's a great feeling," the St. Louis Cardinals catcher said Monday in his first public comments about the honor received Sunday. "I'm glad to have made it. I'm happy. People around me are glad to see me in the All-Star Game."

Molina has made the National League team each of the past six seasons and will make his fourth consecutive start. The game is scheduled for July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.

"That's what you work for in the offseason, to try to accomplish your personal awards," Molina said. "It's a great moment for me (and) for my family. I'm glad the fans took the time to vote for me."

Molina received 3,842,434 votes, easing past the Milwaukee Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy (3,515,011).

"Every time when you have a chance to be a starter, it's a great feeling," Molina said. "You've got the chance to be on the same field with a bunch of All-Stars."

Molina said he wasn't following the voting updates, although people were keeping him up to speed.

"I've got people calling me and telling me what's going on, but I don't follow that," Molina said. "For me, it's all about my teammates, it's all about the St. Louis Cardinals. I'm so glad everything went the right way and I'm glad to be on the All-Star team."

Three of Molina's teammates also are on the squad: pitchers Adam Wainwright and Pat Neshek and third baseman Matt Carpenter. Wainwright might get the starting nod; he began Monday leading the NL in ERA (1.83) and was tied for first in wins (11).

"It would be great. For me and for the whole St. Louis city, the organization, it would be a great time," Molina said of catching Wainwright, whose final start before the All-Star Game is Saturday, meaning July 15 would be the day for his normal bullpen.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who will run the NL team, doesn't have to announce his starting pitcher until Monday.

Molina said he would much rather catch the NL pitching staff than hit against it.

"When you hit against them, they're tough," he said. "When you catch them, it's a better feeling. It's more fun."

Carpenter is making his second straight appearance in the All-Star Game. Last year, he made it as a second baseman.

"It's an extreme amount of excitement and thrill, and something I'm extremely honored to be a part of," Carpenter said. "This is one of those things that will never get old, if you're lucky to have more than one. It should be fun."

Carpenter's 55 runs and 47 walks rank among the NL leaders.

"I would like to think I would be in that mix (as a top leadoff hitter)," Carpenter said. "Since I've been put into that role, I've really tried to ... get as good as I can. I feel like I've done a good job at that. I'm continually trying to get better at it."

Neshek, a Minnesotat native, was a spring-training signing for the Cardinals who received no promises of making the team.

But the 33-year-old right-hander with the funky delivery has evolved into the most reliable arm in the bullpen with a 2-0 record and 0.77 ERA. He has walked four and struck out 35 in 35 innings, allowing a scant 16 hits and one home run.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.

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