(KMOV) -- To question Albert Pujols’ clutch hitting is to question if the sun will ever come out again during a light fall rain shower.
Both questions are ridiculous. Albert Pujols proved himself yet again Monday night silencing the critics and silencing Miller Park. He turned in one of the greatest hitting performances in MLB Postseason history. In doing so he led the Cardinals to a 12-3 win and a 1-1 tie in the NLCS. Now the Cardinals have home field advantage with games 3, 4, and 5 at Busch Stadium.
Before Game 2 I heard many Cardinals fans and analysts grumble about Albert Pujols asking when he would step up. In the 7th inning of Game 1 he came to bat with runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs and his team down 8-5. He fouled off a pitch that he later said he’d put in the bleachers 7 out of 10 times. Then he grounded into a rally killing double play. The Cardinals went on to lose 9-6.
Albert Pujols is no longer clutch, right? Nope. On Monday night Pujols put on one of the best hitting displays in playoff history. In the first inning he rocked a Shaun Marcum fastball into the left field stands. The 2-run home run gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. In his next 3 at-bats Pujols had 3 doubles, 3 RBI, and scored 3 runs. It was only the 4th time a player had 4 extra-base hits in a playoff game. And it’s the first time in MLB history a player had 3 extra-base hits in 2 separate games in one postseason (Pujols had 3 doubles in Game 3 of the NLDS).
On Wednesday night in Game 3 Pujols will look to feast on Brewers’ starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Albert is 12-27 lifetime against Gallardo. The Cardinals send ace Chris Carpenter to the hill. First pitch at Busch Stadium is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
--John Knicely, KMOV
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