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Reactions: Cardinals Run Away With Game 3, Lead World Series 2-1

October 23, 2011

Albert Pujols led the Cardinals to a 16-7 win agains the Texas Rangers in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series.

 
The Cardinals gained back momentum in the best-of-seven World Series with a grand 16-7 victory over the Texas Rangers in Game 3 Saturday night.
 
Albert  Pujols once again proved that he is the best player of his generation. 5-6, 3 homeruns, 6 runs batted in, 4 runs scored. Add ’em up, and King Albert had a hand in ten of the Cardinals 16 runs in an offensive explosion for the ages.
 
When talking after the game about where Albert’s night ranked as a World Series performance all-time, Tony LaRussa said: “There it is, the greatest night in World Series history… And we saw it.” Pujols’ joins the great Babe Ruth and Reggie “Mr. October” Jackson as the only players ever to hit three home runs in a single World Series game. This performance definitely did the talking for the slugger. No interview was needed.
 
Not to be overlooked in this game was the performance of catcher Yadier Molina. Yadi quietly came through with four runs batted in of his own, along with spectactular defensive play behind the plate.
 
Almost everyone contributed on offense for the Redbirds in this 16-run outburst, including Allen Craig who hit a solo 1st inning home run to get things start. But one defensive play that may have saved the game for the Cardinals was Matt Holliday’s putout double play at home to end an offensive threat from the Rangers, preserving a 2-run lead that quickly grew. It was a huge momentum shift in the game.
 
Lance Lynn came up big out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, recording seven big outs while allowing only 1 run. Tony LaRussa put his trust in his young reliever and he came through. So while the Rangers used five pitchers out of the bullpen extensively, Saint Louis should have everyone available for Game 4 with the exception of Lynn and possibly Fernando Salas.
 
Looking forward to Game 4, if either team can get a quality start out of the #4 starter, it would be an obviously huge advantage. You’ve got to expect both offenses to be ready to roll again tonight. But thinking back to the NLDS, Carp showed that it is possible as a pitcher to rise above the talent of the opposing lineup and impose your will on them. If Texas doesn’t get a length start from Derek Holland, they are in serious trouble. As mentioned earlier, Texas’ bullpen is running low on gas. They cannot afford another night like last night. Cards starter Edwin Jackson will need to keep the ball down and control the counts in order to have a successful evening.
 
Great quote from Lance Lynn on Albert: “It was fun to watch him do what he did tonight, and just to be a teammate of his when he did something like that. That’s something I’m going to be able to tell my kids and grandkids that I actually witnessed that in person.”
 
The chess match between the two managers has been closely followed. The most interesting thing to watch tonight is how Ron Washington approaches Albert Pujols. Will he pitch around him and risk the 4-5-6 hitters coming through with him already on base. Or will he remain aggressive and go right after him? It’s not a bad situation to be in for the Cardinals.
 
Game 4 is definitely a must-win for the Rangers with Cards ace Chris Carpenter set to start on Monday night in Game 5. Texas is playing tonight with all of the pressure on them. By now, Saint Louis is accustomed to playing big games. This is the first adversity the Rangers have faced.
 
The Cardinals have been defying odds for the past two months. All of the national pundits who predicted a Rangers sweep must be scratching their heads. The momentum has shifted back in the Cardinals direction. A Cards win in Game 4 could provide the knock-out blow to the Texas Rangers.
 
Thanks for reading.
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