Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Albert Pujols: Putting On a Superman Cape with the Bases Loaded (This Time Helpling Bail OUt Tony LaRussa's Failure To Yank His PIcher)
It is almost inconceivable. Pujols (previously in one of those inexplicable slumps he gets into, despsite his consistent numbers for each complete season) came up with the bases loaded in the 10th inning tonight and hit ANOTHER home run. His record witht the bases loaded this season is beyond belief. This one did not exactly win the game for the Cardinals, as the Cardinals had taken an 8 to 7 lead. But it certainly made the bottom of the 10th a much more comfortable situatioin. It is looking more tand more like the Central Division is coming down to the Cubs and the Cardinals, with off days and the schedule giving the Cardinals a slight advantage (after looking more like a pllayoff team with the addtion of Matt Holliday) Tony LaRussa again showed you why fans get grey haris from the actions of even genius managers. LaRussa left Joel Pinero in the game for SEVEN earned runs in five innings--four in the 5th alone. And it was not like someone hit a grand slam in the 5th LarRussa had MULTIPLE chances to take his pitcher out in the 5th, with off dalys all over the place for the Cardinals, and failed to do it. That is the problelm I have with LarRussa. He can be too cllever by half, or mroe than half. And then he willl fail to make the OBVIIOUS move, as he did by leaving Wellemeyer in one batter too long the last series the Carndinals played agsint the Mets (as the Met mannager also left a pitcher in one batter tooo long, resulting in a pitcherr facing Pujols with runners on frist and second, lucking out when PUjols hit into a double play). There was absolutely no excuse for LarRussa leaving his pitcher in for that 7th run the Mets scored. The problem is that La Russa can get STUBBORN in the most obvious situations, backing his "hunch"--or his previous decision that his pitcher was going to finish the 5th to avoid "burning" a relief pitcher. It was a big difference trailing 7 to 4 instead of 6 to 4. The Cardinals would tie it in the 9th, and would have won it had they only been trailing 6 to 4 after the 5th (although you can't really know how things would have gone had the score been different, and in some twisted way the Cardinals may have ended up better off by trailing 7 to 4). I still think LaRussa, genius, had no exucse for letting a picher give up seven earned runs, IN SLOW MOTION (not big home run swings). The man can be more stubborn than I am.