Many predicted the offenses would come alive once the World Series hit Arlington, but I’m not sure anyone expected this. The St. Louis Cardinals destroyed Rangers pitching, crushing Texas 16-7 in game three. While all but one St. Louis starter collected a hit, the big story was Albert Pujols, who went yard three times for the Cardinals.
This game started out routinely enough, falling in line with the series’ previous two contests. Getting his first start of the World Series, Cardinals’ outfielder Allen Craig continued his impressive play, taking a Matt Harrison pitch deep to left to start off the scoring.
But this was the only run either club could muster over the game’s first three innings. During that time, Harrison and Kyle Lohse held the offenses to three hits, Craig’s home run and two singles.
Unfortunately for Harrison and Lohse, neither would make it through the 4th. St. Louis got to Harrison, driving him from the game after 3 2/3 innings. Lohse, meanwhile, didn’t record an out in his fourth frame. Michael Young led off the inning with a solo shot, and two batters later Nelson Cruz took Lohse deep again. After Mike Napoli made it four-in-a-row to reach base against Lohse, Tony La Russa went to his pen.
By this point the clubs had already combined to score as many runs as had been posted over the first two games of the series. But the offensive fireworks were only just beginning.
The Cardinals and Rangers each scored three runs in the 5th before St. Louis opened things up late. Over the game’s final four innings, St. Louis put up eight runs.
Seven of the Cardinals 15 hits went for extra bases, including Pujols’s three home runs. These weren’t cheap shots that barely cleared the fence; the shortest homer of three traveled 420 feet. Also, if you went to bed early you may not have witnessed a single one of Pujols’s long balls, as his home run frenzy began in the 6th inning.
Pujols broke a World Series record by tallying 14 total bases and becomes the only player not named Jackson or Ruth to hit three home runs during a Fall Classic contest.