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Blog Entry

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

Posted on: October 5, 2011 9:08 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 11:13 pm
 


By Matt Snyder


Albert Pujols is still the best player in baseball and we saw it again on display Wednesday night. He didn't show us with his bat, as he so often does. It's not just the hitting. He's good at everything. Tuesday night, he stole third base in the first inning. Wednesday night, we were treated to his defensive and mental prowess in one fell swoop.

PHI-STL NLDS Game 4
In the top of the sixth, with the Cardinals holding a one-run lead, Chase Utley broke for second with the pitch on an apparent hit-and-run. Hunter Pence hit a grounder to shortstop. As Rafael Furcal went to throw the ball to first base and record the easy out, Utley took a huge gamble and tried to get to third base. Pujols saw Utley take off, and came off the bag to get the ball and throw Utley out at third base. He got him by several feet with a perfect throw -- see the picture above. Had Pujols stayed on the base, Utley would have been on third with just one out and Ryan Howard coming to the plate. A sacrifice fly would then tie the game. But Pujols instinctively came off the bag and nailed the lead runner.

Pujols fills the stat sheet with the best of them. While he wasn't the best hitter in the league in 2011, due to a slow start, he still had a 150 OPS-plus -- meaning his on-base percentage plus slugging percentage was 50 percent better than the average hitter -- with 37 home runs and 99 RBI in 147 games. And that's the worst year he's had in a decade. But he's also a guy who does all the little things. Just like how people like to say lesser talented players (Ryan Theriot?) do the "little things." So does Pujols. That's why he's still the best player in baseball.

David Freese was the hero of Game 4 with the double, home run and four RBI, but don't forget about Pujols' defensive play. If he doesn't make it, it's entirely possible the game heads into the late innings tied at three. From there, anything can happen. Instead, we're going to be treated with Game 5 Friday night. Praise Freese and several other Cardinals, but don't forget about that soon-to-be free agent first baseman.

Video: Manager Tony La Russa discusses his team's Game 4 win.



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Comments
hotmeuly
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 7:09 am
This comment has been removed.

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peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:23 pm
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Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:31 pm
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

Hey Teets, relax dude.

This has nothing to do with anyone having a different point of view than me.   I understand the fact that everyone is entitled to their point of view.  However, the plain fact here is that you you are simply not comprehending the paragraph.  Stop taking your interpretation of the paragraph as fact, when it clearly is not.  The paragraph clearly differentiates homer Card fans from other affected parties by the use of the word *OR*. As in "OR NL fans, OR just plain Pujols idolizers."

Do you understand the meaning of the word "OR"?

The paragraph also clearly states that the reasons for supporting the play as being a great play is really not important, READ: it doesn't matter whether it is coming from a homer Cardinal fan, *OR* because you are a fan of the NL, *OR* because you are a Pujol idolizer.  The *OR* in the paragraph is the operative word.  It separates the specific and different entities involved.  In other words, in addition to the "homers' we have the NL sympathizers and the Pujols idolizers, etc.

Geez ... I don't know why I even waste my time with some of you.

Go back to school dammet!





Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:09 pm
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

... does it sound like I am only resorting the "homer" Cardinals fans?

Comprehension FTW.

I don't care what homers you're referring to. You referred to those who thought the Pujols play was exemplary as "homers."  And like I said, it's not that simple.  Just because someone has a different point of view than you regarding the level of greatness of a given play does not make the person a homer.  You're making a really simplistic argument.

Also, a "homer" is, by definition, a fan of the home team.  There are no league homers, and there are no player homers.  Therefore, when you use the word homer in this case, the COMPREHENSION is going to be that you're referring to Cardinal fans.  That's not a comprehension problem on our part; it's a usage problem on your part.  Consider that before making a comprehension insult.  (I don't know what the W stands for in "FTW," but I presume it's meant to be insulting.)

And I will say again: the announcers are not homers of any sort, and they pointed out the greatness of the play also.



Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:44 pm
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

I'm afraid it's not that simple. We are Cardinals fans. However, the TBS announcers on TV, the ESPN announcers on the radio, and the guy who wrote this blog -- all of whom lauded the play also -- are not Cardinals fans.
Something to think about before resorting to "homer" insults.

Read this paragraph again ...

"Anyway, homers will be homers.  I will leave this alone.  Perhaps you are all in denial because you are Card fans or NL fans, or just plain Pujols idolizers.  The reason why you are supporting this as being a great play is really not important.  You have your reasons and who am I to burst your bubbles.  I've had my say."

... does it sound like I am only resorting the "homer" Cardinals fans?

Comprehension FTW.






Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

homers will be homers

I'm afraid it's not that simple. We are Cardinals fans. However, the TBS announcers on TV, the ESPN announcers on the radio, and the guy who wrote this blog -- all of whom lauded the play also -- are not Cardinals fans.

Something to think about before resorting to "homer" insults. 



Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:21 am
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

What you fail to understand is that this play was not risky at all.  Did you see by how many feet Utley was out at third?  I'll answer that for you... by about 10 feet!  This not only tells you that there was not only no risk involved in the play, but where Utley must have been when Pujols picked him up as he was rounding second.  Pujols had all the time in the world.  I am sure he could not believe his eyes as he saw Utley rounding second right in front of him going to third.  You will of course doubt it, but I think he has a chance to get Utley even if he stays on the bag for the out and then throws it to third.  Utley was out by that much!

Anyway, homers will be homers.  I will leave this alone.  Perhaps you are all in denial because you are Card fans or NL fans, or just plain Pujols idolizers.  The reason why you are supporting this as being a great play is really not important.  You have your reasons and who am I to burst your bubbles.  I've had my say.



Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 11:03 am
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

WesoEvil, really?  It was a heck of a play.  Most would have stayed on the bag which means they wouldn't have gotten the ball their in time.  When I saw it, I thought it was an incredible play, but risky.  You lose the sure thing out at first, and you then have to make a much tougher throw for a non-force out.  


I mean, that's not a play you teach, that's for sure. 



Since: Sep 6, 2011
Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:56 am
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

You must not watch much baseball.  That "routine" play was anything but.


You're right, unlike yourself and the rest of these homers, I don't watch much baseball.  I play it!!

A question for you genius homers ... How often does a runner go from first to third on a hard grounder to the shortstop right in front of him?  That's right, not often at all.  You know why?  Because it's a bonehead move, that's why.

This play is developing right in front of Pujols.  He can plainly seen Utley taking off around second and heading to third.  Why wouldn't he come off the bag and throw to third.  Utley was barerly rounding second as the ball was being delivered to him by Furcal.  Why wouldn't he come off the bag to try and get Utley going to third?  It's not only the obvious move, it's a reflexive move.  It's plainly the play to make under the circumstances.

So basically what you genius homers are saying is that the fact that Pujols makes the decision of simply not taking the safe play, that alone makes it a great play.  Nevermind the fact that the play is developing right in front of him and he can clearly see, with ample time, that the runner is rounding second and heading to third. 

Regarding Utley.  Are you telling me that if you ever played baseball, which I question greatly based on your responses on this thread, and in a close game you saw a team mate round second and head to third on a routine groundball to short, that you would not think that to be very poor baserunning? If your answer is not, then you are lying. and you know it.  Runners rarely, if ever, advance from first to third on a routine grounder to short for a reason, and that is because the chances of safely reaching third on the play are nigh impossible. 

Quit being homers.  Both Pujols and Utley are no doubt great baseball players.  There is, however, nothing great about either act, the running or the throwing, on this play.  And to say otherwise, is ridiculous.






Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: October 6, 2011 10:46 am
 

Underrated play of Game 4: Pujols' throw to third

WeSoEvil, you really missed the point here. Yes, Utley was an idiot for trying to advance. But he WOULD have successfully advanced with any other major league first baseman playing first. Any other first baseman would have tried for the out at first, then thrown to third and been too late. That's the point. It's very simple.


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