Key stat: Pujols gets 3 intentional walks

October, 25, 2011
10/25/11
10:59
AM CT
Miguel Cabrera taught Ron Washington a valuable lesson in the AL Championship Series: It's better to intentionally walk a dangerous hitter than to give up a game-changing hit.

So don't expect Albert Pujols to get anything to hit in a key situation for the rest of the World Series.

Washington gave Pujols three intentional passes in Game 5, including one in the seventh inning with the bases empty. In the process, Washington became the first manager in World Series history to intentionally walk a batter with the bases empty before the eighth inning.

Actually, only Atlanta's Bobby Cox in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series and St. Louis' Eddie Dyer in Game 5 of the 1946 World Series had ever issued four intentional walks in a game.

Each lost.

No worries, Washington's decisions worked out just fine.

And he can thank Cabrera for the strategy. Twice, the Rangers' pitching staff allowed hits to Cabrera in situations when they were supposed to pitch around him.

In a nail-biter, Washington didn't want to risk any mistake pitches to a hitter who became the third person in World Series history to hit three homers in one game a couple of days ago.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Colby Lewis
WINS ERA SO IP
10 5.18 133 170
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Beltre .324
HRA. Beltre 19
RBIA. Beltre 77
RA. Beltre 79
OPSA. Beltre .879
ERAC. Lewis 5.18
SOY. Darvish 182