The National League Gold Gloves were announced Wednesday, and for the eligible St. Louis Cardinals it was a fine day to be a repeat winner. Catcher Yadier Molina won his third straight award, while Albert Pujols picked up his second at first base. (Former Cardinal Scott Rolen, meanwhile, picked up his eighth, and his first since leaving the team after the 2007 season.)
Molina led the National League in Caught Stealing Percentage for the third time, punching out 33 baserunners in 68 attempts. He's also famous for his ability to pick runners off of first base, and was worth 16 runs more than an average catcher on defense according to Total Zone Rating.
Albert Pujols's defense since moving to first base has been revelatory, although this year was his worst showing yet with the defensive metrics. TZ had him at -2, after seasons of +25, +18, and +12; Defensive Runs Saved had him flat; UZR, typically less enthusiastic about his defense, had him as a run and a half above average. It was Pujols's first Gold Glove since 2006.
Brendan Ryan, the Cardinals' slick defensive shortstop, was out of luck for the second year in a row. Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, also a worthy candidate, earned his first in 2010. Brendan, Brendan fans, Joe Mather: For what it's worth, at least he's not Derek Jeter.