Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 11/1/11
ST. LOUIS - Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is widely regarded as the best defensive catcher in baseball. That claim got a bit stronger late Tuesday night. Molina was given his fourth consecutive Gold Glove Award during an awards show on ESPN2, beating out finalists Brian McCann of the Braves and Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies. A day after the Cardinals exercised his 7 million option for next season, the All-Star backstop became the first National League catcher to win four straight Gold Glove Awards since Charles Johnson from 1995-98. Kyle Lohse, Matt Holliday and Dan Descalso were finalists at their respective positions but Molina was the lone Cardinal to come out on top. Molina didnt have the typical stellar season hes accustomed to, throwing out just 15 of the 60 runners who attempted to steal on him. But he had just five errors in 927 chances behind the plate, good for a .995 fielding percentage. With Seattles Ichiro Suzuki failing to win a Gold Glove for the first time in 11 years, Molinas streak of four consecutive awards is now the longest current run in baseball. Molina had two pickoffs in 2011, giving him a MLB-best 39 since the start of the 2004 season. He shut down the Rangers running game in the World Series, The 29-year-old Molina enjoyed his best offensive season, finishing with career highs in batting average (.305), home runs (14), doubles (32), RBI (65), and runs scored (55). Molina made his third-straight All-Star Game in 2011. Albert Pujols, who won his second Gold Glove last season, committed 11 errors at first base and wasnt among the finalists in the National League.
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