Albert Pujols Ruins Yet Another Reliever's Career in Game 3 of 2011 World Series

Vance PennCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run in the ninth inning for his third home run of the night during Game Three of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. The Cardinals won 16-7.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Six years ago, almost to the day, Albert Pujols ruined the career of then Houston Astros reliever Brad Lidge. No matter what middling success Lidge has had since then with the Philadelphia Phillies, he simply hasn't been the same since Pujols crushed a go-ahead three-run home run off him to force a Game 6 in the 2005 National League Championship Series.

Tonight in Texas—this time in Arlington—Albert Pujols joined elite company (Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson) when he hit three home runs in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series.

Most devastating among them was the 3-run 443-foot bomb he hit off Alexi Ogando in the sixth inning. Although Ogando did succeed in completing the inning, he left the field looking like a broken man.

The Texas Rangers are hoping that Ogando can successfully return from the demoralizing home run he gave up to Pujols and that, unlike Brad Lidge, it doesn't ruin him for years to come.

In the bullpen-happy Series currently underway, the Rangers will surely have an opportunity to find out.

If tonight's performance in Arlington doesn't convince Nolan Ryan and the Texas Rangers that as soon as Albert Pujols enters free agency they should offer him whatever he wants, then they didn't watch the same historic performance the rest of us saw.

Pujols, already a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer, cemented his title of "The Machine."