The Great Pujols debate
Dusty Baker had a rationale for letting Homer Bailey pitch to Albert Pujols in the seventh inning on Saturday. It’s coming but first a set up of the situation:
A 1-1 game, Skip Schumaker on second base with a stolen base with first base open and two outs. Matt Holliday on deck. Pujols was 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a first-inning intentional walk.
Bailey had a 1-2 count before throwing two more balls. On Bailey’s 3-2 pitch — and career-high pitch No. 121 of the day — Pujols ripped a RBI double to put St. Louis ahead.
“He was supposed to throw him something to fish and it got over the heart of the plate,” Baker said. “The kid had 120 pitches. If I walk out there, the kid right then has no chance if I go to somebody in my bullpen. We were operating short in the bullpen. I wanted to give the kid a chance to win the game because he pitched his butt off. He pitched great.”
St. Louis added another run in the inning. The Reds came back and tied it in the eighth before losing, 6-3.
“If it had been the eighth or ninth, it would have been no problem,” Baker said about the idea of giving Pujols the intentional pass. “In the seventh, I said ‘ok we’ve got two more innings to come back.’”
On Twitter, a few people questioned Baker’s decision to pitch to Pujols. Anyone else want to chime in with their two cents. What would you do there?
Me? I would have intentionally walked Pujols there and let a fresh Carlos Fisher take his chances against Matt Holliday. I get Baker’s rationale though for wanting to get his guy the win.
Of course, are we even having the discussion if Pujols’ liner was caught or if Bailey made that last pitch for strike three?
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