On a night when the organization celebrated the 2006 World Series title with a warning track parade featuring members of the championship team, Molina's reaction was reminiscent of its run 10 years ago.
The same fists raised after Wainwright buckled Carlos Beltran's knees to end Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. The same fingers clenched together when Wainwright struck out Brandon Inge to bring home the Cardinals' 10th championship in Game 5 of the Fall Classic.
"We borderline did the whole jump-up, we were both so excited," Wainwright said, referencing their '06 celebration. "Yadi was excited for me, and I was excited for him, too. Every time we do something like that, it just adds to our wall of things we've done together."
Wainwright can continue to say he has thrown a complete game in every full season he has pitched as a starter. His last shutout came on Sept. 17, 2014, and he battled to make it happen Saturday. He carried a no-hitter through five before allowing a leadoff double to Adeiny Hechavarria in the sixth to end his bid for history, and he allowed another leadoff two-bagger to Christian Yelich in the seventh.
But Wainwright retired the next three batters in each inning, including his second strikeout of Stanton, who went 0-for-4.
"You could tell that they weren't really off on his breaking ball, they were taking good passes at it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "The art of tonight was him taking off a little velocity, putting on movement, and it was all about location. It was something that we hoped would happen, and that was a special night."
Wainwright received a pregame text from '06 manager Tony La Russa, who was also in attendance. He didn't know Wainwright was starting, but he jokingly told him to ask Matheny if he could close out the game. When the Cardinals' ace informed La Russa that he was getting the start, La Russa told him, "Let's go, you've got this."
After working around a single from Hechavarria that deflected off his foot in the eighth, Wainwright pleaded for 10 pitches to work with in the ninth, and Matheny complied. Wainwright needed 11 for the final three outs, and he finished with a season-high 120.
Reflections of 2006 were in abundance. Wainwright said his final pitch to Stanton was a slider, the same pitch he used to strike out Inge in 2006. The final 5-0 score was the same as Game 3 of the '06 World Series at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright said afterward that he felt the significance of performing in front of his former teammates. He even took note of which suite they were in.
"I had somewhat of a feeling I was going to get the job done," Wainwright said. "I made sure to look up so I knew where they were, and on the third out I tipped my cap."
Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.