How is Albert Pujols possibly hitting 1,200 feet worth of home runs in back-to-back-to back at bats during the third game of the 2011 World Series for a retort? Like Albert said during the postgame interview on FOX, “What are they going to say now?"
I can answer Albert's rhetorical question with one word: nothing.
It’s not like him to be smug, and he wasn’t being arrogant. Pujols answered the question in a humble tone. Everyone in baseball knows how good he is, and he doesn’t gloat.
On the contrary, with a history-making bat is how Pujols answered the critics who got on him about what was perceived as an error on a relay throw in the second game.
Furthermore, he was lambasted by some people in the media for not being available for interviews after the Rangers came back to win in St. Louis to tie the series last Thursday night. Not surprisingly, he was available after the game Saturday night and probably until dawn cracked.
Speaking of crack, the haunting sound of the baseball coming off his bat probably kept the Rangers up until daylight. In his last at bat, Pujols had a chance to match Reggie Jackson’s 1977 exploit of hitting three straight home runs on three straight swings.
In the meantime, he became the first player in World Series history with four hits in four straight innings. Albert was four-for-four. By the seventh inning, the only drama left in the game was the significance surrounding Pujols’ chance to make history.
To be honest, I believe fans who have witnessed Pujols’ journey through MLB history for the past 11 years knew what was about to happen. Cardinals fans knew the look we saw on Pujols’ face during the NLDS against Philadelphia.
I wrote about it, saying something good was about to happen. Like Tim McCarver said, Pujols has been hot for 11 years—his entire tenure in the Majors. After St. Louis lost in the ninth inning to Texas, I also wrote that the Cardinals needed to heat up in Arlington, and they did.
To make me look good, they smashed the Rangers, 16-7, on Saturday night. The weather is warmer in Texas than it is in St. Louis, and the balls were carrying for the Cardinals.
You see, Pujols only accounted for six runs. Albeit, they were six historic runs. Baseball, though, is a team game.
Almost certainly, the Cardinals are hot enough now to see the end of the tunnel. It will take a powerful fire hose to put out the fire lit under the Redbirds. They were the hottest team in baseball this year going down the stretch and Pujols has made sure it will continue.
Whether or not it continues into the fourth game remains to be seen but I believe it will. The Cardinals have seen enough of the Rangers relievers to know their tendencies and their pitching motions.
Texas’ biggest fire hose, Alexi Ogando bless his heart, has gotten wet up by the Redbirds in all three games. Manager Ron Washington has to be scratching the middle of his half 'fro trying to figure out what to do next.
In order that his team doesn’t end up trying to battle back from a 3-1 deficit against the mighty bats of the Cardinals, he’ll need to bring his best managing job of the season for tonight.
After all, even the outs the Cardinals made last night were hit hard. It’s true that David Freese got what could be called a cheap RBI from a broken bat ground ball to his counterpart, Adrian Beltre. Otherwise, Pujols’ shots were heard around the proverbial baseball World Series lore globe.
His home runs almost hit the moon. That’s hyperbole, but you get the general idea. Analyst Tim McCarver said during the broadcast that Pujols’ homers took his breath away. McCarver was not blowing up balloons in the booth or blowing smoke.
Of course, it was the smoking of baseballs Albert did that took a lot of life from the Texas Rangers and their fans. The air was virtually taken out of the stadium and Texas couldn’t recover in time.
Of course, good baseball teams are excellent at bouncing back the day after a tough loss. That goes for teams playing ball on earth.
Except, Pujols hits like he’s from another planet. The only drama in the ninth inning was whether or not he could launch another home run to tie Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth with three homers in a single World Series game.
He did, and Ruth, Jackson and Pujols are the only men to do it in World Series history. If Pujols gets any more good pitches to hit in this series, then it’ll be a surprise to me.
Something tells me that if the Rangers continue to pitch to him, he could three-peat. In the interview after the game Albert said, “Hopefully I can do it tomorrow.” Stay tuned.
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