Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Pujols gives extra effort in Cardinals win
The St. Louis Cardinals evened the National League Championship Series at one game apiece with a 12-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night at Miller Park, thanks to the scorching-hot bat of Albert Pujols.
Pujols had three doubles and a homer in Game 2, matching the major league record for most extra-base hits in a postseason game. It was his second game this postseason with at least three doubles, as he also became the first player to have three or more doubles in two games in the same postseason.
Pujols snapped a 47-at-bat homerless streak with his two-run homer in the first inning, going deep for the first time in the playoffs since the 2006 World Series. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest such drought of his career in the postseason.
It was the 14th career postseason homer for Pujols, who passed Jim Edmonds to become the Cardinals' all-time leader. The homer was the sixth he's hit in the first inning of a postseason game, as he moved past Derek Jeter for the most first-inning homers in postseason history.
He also drove in five runs, becoming the second Cardinals player with five or more RBIs in a postseason game. Reggie Sanders had six RBIs in Game 1 of the 2005 NL Division Series. He now has 42 career postseason RBIs, also passing Edmonds for the most in Cardinals history.
Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks both homered for the Brew Crew. Fielder hit his fourth career postseason homer, moving ahead of Ted Simmons and Paul Molitor for the most in franchise history. Weeks’ first career postseason homer was an unlikely one, as he was 2-for-25 in his postseason career entering the game.
The Cardinals' 12 runs were one shy of their most in a postseason game and were one shy of the most the Brewers had allowed in a postseason game. Coincidentally, both of those records were set in the same game, which was the Cardinals' 13-1 win over the Brewers in Game 6 of the 1982 World Series.
With the blowout victory, the Cardinals became the first team in five tries to beat the Brewers at home this postseason and handed the Brewers just their third loss in their past 13 postseason games in Milwaukee.
The NLCS now heads to St. Louis for a key Game 3 on Wednesday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in a best-of-seven series, teams who win Game 3 after being tied 1-1 have won 58 of the 81 times, including 21 of 29 in the league championship series.