Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October 22, 2011: Albert Joins The Babe and Mr. October

On October 22, 2011, in a 16-7 Cardinals win in Game 3 of the World Series, Albert Pujols became just the third player in the history of the game to hit three bombs in one World Series contest. The Cardinals slugger went 5 for 6 with six runs batted in and tied Paul Molitor for most hits in a World Series contest. He also set a record for total bases with 14, as well as becoming the first player in World Series history to pick up a hit in four consecutive innings. Albert's bat had been quiet up to that point in the series then it came alive with bombtastic results. The Cardinals jumped in front early after Allen Craig went yard in the first, they tacked on 4 more in the fifth and it was looking like it was going to be all Cardinals in this one. Then, Kyle Lohse served up a solo shot to Michael Young in the fourth, and two batters later Nelson Cruz connected with a two-run shot that shrank the Cardinals lead to 5-3. The Cardinals answered right back in the fifth, Pujols led the inning off with a single then Rangers reliever Scott Feldman issue back-to-back walks that would come back to haunt him. Following the walks David Freese came up with a productive groundout that brought Pujols into score the sixth Cardinal run before a clutch double by Yadier Molina opened the lead up to 8-3. That Rangers team refused to go down without a fight, they scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to get within two runs of tying the ballgame only to have Pujols crush their rally with a three run bomb in the sixth. Molina added another RBI to his total before the inning ended to give the Cardinals a commanding 12-6 lead. The battering of the baseball wasn't over just yet. Albert went yard once again in the top of the seventh, this time it was a two-run bomb that opened the lead up to 14-6. Mike Napoli knocked in the last Rangers run of the day in the bottom of that inning. While the Rangers were done scoring the Cardinals had a couple more in the tank. Yadi capped off his day at the plate by knocking in Daniel Descalso in the eighth, then Pujols joined a very short list of legendary men when he rocked his third solo shot over the wall in the ninth that gave the Birds the 16-7 lead. Only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson had hit three home runs in a World Series contest and Babe Ruth did it twice against your very own St. Louis Cardinals. The first time Ruth did it was during the 1926 Series, then the second time was during the 1928 series. Jackson joined Ruth in 1977, it would take 36 years for Pujols to join the club. Just one year later Pablo Sandoval added himself to that list with a 3 home run performance in Game 1 of the 2012 Fall Classic.

Watch the historic performance here: http://wapc.mlb.com/play?content_id=19939895

Here's the box score: http://www.baseball-reference.com/postseason/2011_WS.shtml

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