Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Pierzynski enjoys beating former team
By Rob Rains, Special to ESPNBoston.com
ST. LOUIS -- A.J. Pierzynski said he has no hard feelings about how his brief time with the Red Sox ended, but he admitted it was a little more satisfying than normal when he helped beat his former team Tuesday night.
Pierzynski’s second single of the game with two outs in the eighth inning of a tie game was the first of three consecutive hits by the Cardinals off Junichi Tazawa, and Pierzynski scored the winning run in the 3-2 victory on a single by Jon Jay.
It has been only three weeks since Pierzynski was designated for assignment and then released by the Red Sox, signing as a free agent with the Cardinals on July 26 to help fill in for injured catcher Yadier Molina.
A.J. Pierzynski had the first of three straight two-out hits in the eighth that sunk the Red Sox.
“Everyone wants me to say bad things about the Red Sox and I’m not going to say it,” Pierzynski said. “I’m not bitter about what happened. It just didn’t work. The guys in Boston were great. I don’t have one hard feeling. The only thing is I didn’t play well enough and they were in a bad spot and decided to bring up [Christian] Vazquez to give him at-bats.
“The bottom line was I didn’t play well enough and we didn’t play well enough as a team. I have nothing but respect for the organization and the way they handled everything and I was proud to say I was a Red Sox.”
Being able to get another chance with the Cardinals, and being able to enjoy a win like they got on Tuesday night, however, is one of the reasons Pierzynski did not want his career to end when he left Boston.
“I haven’t had the year I was expecting to have obviously, but there is still a long ways to go,” he said. “The bottom line is just go out and have good at-bats and try to help the team win games.
“I’m a human being, and you want to beat any team you play right now, but when a team DFA’s you three weeks ago, you want to beat them a little more.”
Pierzynski, hitting .320 in seven games with the Cardinals, came to bat in the eighth after Tazawa had struck out Matt Adams and got Johnny Peralta to line to third.
“Having caught Taz all year, he’s got really good stuff,” Pierzynski said. “I was just hoping he would make a mistake. He made a mistake with his first three pitches and the one good pitch he threw me was the one I hit. I haven’t seen him give up three hits in a row all year, especially with two outs.”
That is the difference, however, between how things are going in St. Louis as opposed to how they went for Pierzynski in Boston the first half of this season.
“I feel like I’m in a better place overall, mostly personally,” he said. “Once you’ve been released by a team and you get picked up by another team, you just want to go out and enjoy it. I’m just going out and playing and having fun.”