{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Chess Match: Pitching to Pujols

Chess Match: Pitching to Pujols

|
Challenging Albert
The situation: With quips between Albert Pujols and Tom Glavine serving as the backdrop (Pujols saying after Glavine's Game 1 performance that the pitcher wasn't that good, and Glavine saying before his Game 5 start that maybe he'd have to do something to impress Pujols), Glavine faced the Cards' first baseman in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The decision: With the Mets ahead, 2-0, and one out with nobody on base, Glavine challenged Pujols. Prior to the at-bat, Pujols was 4-for-15 in the series without a home run.

The outcome: Glavine left a 2-2 pitch out over the plate and Pujols lined it into the first row of the left-field bleachers.

The analysis: "You know, we were sitting on zero, and that got us going and really perked us up. Give Albert a lot of credit, and then the guys who came behind to tie it. We all had visions of getting shut out again by Mr. Glavine. He was working us over." -- Cardinals manager Tony La Russa

"We just made some good adjustments. Good quality at-bats, that was the key." -- Pujols, on the difference between facing Glavine in Games 1 and 5

"I made two mistakes to Albert, and he hit one of them. I hung a change to him [in the first inning] and he popped it up. The second time, I tried to throw a change in, and it leaked back over the plate a little bit."
-- Glavine

"Everybody likes to see Albert go deep. It was like a lightning bolt here." -- Cards reliever Josh Kinney

A quick hook
The situation: After giving up two runs on three hits in the fourth inning, Glavine began the fifth by allowing a single to David Eckstein, an RBI double to Preston Wilson and an intentional walk to Pujols.

The decision: With Glavine already at 80 pitches and having allowed eight of his last 10 batters to reach base, manager Willie Randolph replaced him with right-hander Chad Bradford.

The outcome: Bradford allowed a soft line-drive single to Juan Encarnacion to fill the bases, but then struck out Scott Rolen. Left-hander Pedro Feliciano then came in and retired Jim Edmonds and Ronnie Belliard to halt the damage.

The analysis: "I thought it was the right time to do it. He was struggling a little bit in that inning. I thought it was a great time." -- Randolph, on pulling Glavine

"It's a big game. You've got to go with our bullpen. It's been doing so good." -- Glavine

complete coverage
Home  |  News  |  Video  |  Audio  |  Photos

What percentages?
The situation: Cards starter Jeff Weaver was due up with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. He had thrown 95 pitches and allowed two runs on six hits against a Mets lineup that had erupted for 12 runs the night before.

The decision: Cards manager Tony La Russa pinch-hit for Weaver. But he may have shocked the world when he sent up left-handed hitter Chris Duncan to face left-hander Feliciano. Duncan had been 8-for-47 against lefties this season, with two home runs.

The outcome: Duncan made his skipper look like a genius, hitting a home run inside the right-field foul pole for a 4-2 lead.

The analysis: "Chris is so much fun to watch get better and better and better. Right-hander, left-hander, I mean he's got no fear." --La Russa

"Well, close game like that, I just want to make sure I took a good at-bat -- just try to find a way to get on base. You know, once I [worked a full count], I knew in a close ballgame like that, he couldn't walk me. So, I wanted to make sure I was going to be aggressive in that count, and he happened to leave a breaking ball up." -- Duncan

Paul Bodi is the Executive Editor, East Divisions for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español