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Sunday, May 15, 2022

Now pitching for the Cardinals ... Albert Pujols?

In a 22-year career, future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols has done just about everything on the baseball field. That is, until he took the mound at Busch Stadium on Sunday night.

That’s right: In the Cardinals’ 15-6 win over the Giants, the veteran slugger pitched an inning—something he’d never done in 2,987 career games.

With the Cardinals leading, 15-2, entering the ninth, manager Oliver Marmol handed the ball to Pujols to close out the game. Which he did ... but not before allowing four runs on three hits, giving him a career 36.00 ERA. The man with 681 career homers gave up two long balls—hey, now he knows how it feels.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 15, 2022 at 10:47 PM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: albert pujols

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   1. The Duke Posted: May 16, 2022 at 02:06 AM (#6076943)
Well worth watching this inning of baseball. Everyone, including the Giants, with huge smiles on their faces. Crowd booing the ump on any pitch not called a strike, a couple of HRs, Longoria calling for the ball after his hit so he could have it as a trophy, and both teams at the railing cheering Albert on. Just a bunch of grownup boys having the time of their lives.
   2. bjhanke Posted: May 16, 2022 at 03:35 AM (#6076944)
It was hilarious. Pujols was throwing the Eephus Ball, which looks like a sad popup, but is thrown, not hit. I haven't seen that pitch since the days of Ted Williams. A pitcher who people thought could get Ted out because the Eephus was very hard to hit out of a ballpark, tried it on Ted. It landed, hard, in the right field seats. No one has really thrown it since. Until Albert. Just great to watch.
   3. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: May 16, 2022 at 06:42 AM (#6076949)
Bill Lee threw one to Tony Perez in the 1975 WS.
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: May 16, 2022 at 07:33 AM (#6076951)
   5. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: May 16, 2022 at 07:36 AM (#6076952)
Steve Hamilton was throwing the Folly Floater about three decades after Rip Sewell's Eephus.
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: May 16, 2022 at 07:49 AM (#6076953)
Steve Hamilton was throwing the Folly Floater about three decades after Rip Sewell's Eephus.


But Dave LaRoche's LaLob was well after.
   7. Tony S Posted: May 16, 2022 at 09:13 AM (#6076958)
Bill Lee threw one to Tony Perez in the 1975 WS.


And it did not work out well for Mr. Lee.
   8. manchestermets Posted: May 16, 2022 at 09:24 AM (#6076959)
The second pitch to Longoria was a real thing of beauty.
   9. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 16, 2022 at 09:47 AM (#6076961)
I think it is weird that as bullpens keep getting bigger, non-pitchers are being used more and more in increasingly diverse situations. I get doing this when you are losing 16-1 in the bottom of the 8th or something, but:

1) We are seeing this happen when teams are down by single digits, and
2) Now we have it happening when the team is winning big?

My idea: I think tiebreakers for the playoffs should go to the team with the greatest run differential for the season. This is what happens in soccer, for example, and I’ve had big soccer fans tell me it actually gets the teams to play hard at the end of even blowouts, because those extra runs scored or allowed can matter.
   10. VCar Posted: May 16, 2022 at 10:50 AM (#6076972)
too bad we wasn't eligible for a save. that would have been great trivia 50 years from now
   11. manchestermets Posted: May 16, 2022 at 10:56 AM (#6076973)
My idea: I think tiebreakers for the playoffs should go to the team with the greatest run differential for the season.


That is the rule this season isn't it? I've seen it in relation to teams being angry about someone swinging on a 3-0 pitch with a big lead in the 9th and similar unwritten rules crap. So yeah, if St Louis miss out by fewer than 4 runs this will seem less like fun that it does now.
   12. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 16, 2022 at 11:11 AM (#6076975)
The Giants' "pitcher" (outfielder Luis Gonzalez) was out there lobbing up 45 MPH eephus pitches. He did sprinkle in a couple of 85 MPH fastballs. Pujols seemingly couldn't decide if he was going to go with the 65 - 70 MPH batting practice fastballs or if he wanted to go with the eephus. Neither approach really worked for him, so he might need to look at his repertoire if he's going to have a Satchel Paige-esque run as a 40-something-ish pitcher.
   13. Adam Starblind Posted: May 16, 2022 at 12:04 PM (#6076982)
El Duque threw consecutive eephus pitches to Alex Rodriquez. The second one, A-Rod hit to the moon.


Or maybe it was constellation Pegasus.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 16, 2022 at 12:31 PM (#6076985)
   15. Rally Posted: May 16, 2022 at 12:31 PM (#6076987)
I definitely should have watched this. Much more exciting than the basketball game.
   16. Sleepy was just “inspecting the bunker”, y’all Posted: May 16, 2022 at 12:51 PM (#6076989)
The first time that Albert Pujols pitched in a game for the Cardinals, the moon turned red over St Louis.

It is the legend!
   17. VCar Posted: May 16, 2022 at 12:52 PM (#6076990)
how come Zack's 54 looks like a lob and I can't even touch 54 anymore with my best fastball?
   18. The Duke Posted: May 16, 2022 at 01:11 PM (#6076995)
11. It will never seem less fun no matter what happens. That was unadulterated, forget what's going on in the world fun
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 16, 2022 at 01:49 PM (#6076998)
too bad we wasn't eligible for a save. that would have been great trivia 50 years from now


Under the save rule as it was originally applied when retroactive saves were credited to players from bygone seasons (I believe in 1969), he would have been.

Ernie Shore made his MLB debut with the Giants against the Braves on June 20, 1912. He pitched the ninth with the Giants leading 21-2, and gave up 10 runs in that inning, the Giants eventually winning 21-12. He is credited with a save in the box score on BR. In all fairness, only 3 of the 10 runs were earned, but still... Not surprisingly, that was his only appearance for the Giants, although he of course later pitched very well for the Red Sox.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 16, 2022 at 01:59 PM (#6076999)
too bad we wasn't eligible for a save.

Wes Littleton has entered the chat.
   21. Karl from NY Posted: May 16, 2022 at 03:06 PM (#6077006)
Or maybe it was constellation Pegasus.


If it's A-rod, it would be Sagittarius
   22. SandyRiver Posted: May 16, 2022 at 03:09 PM (#6077007)
The first time that Albert Pujols pitched in a game for the Cardinals, the moon turned red over St Louis.

It is the legend!

Same thing happened in 2004 when the Bosox broke The Curse.
   23. Adam Starblind Posted: May 16, 2022 at 03:45 PM (#6077016)
Or maybe it was constellation Pegasus.


If it's A-rod, it would be Sagittarius


Hay, either constellation is correct.
   24. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 16, 2022 at 04:25 PM (#6077023)
I think it is weird that as bullpens keep getting bigger, non-pitchers are being used more and more in increasingly diverse situations.


This is my takeaway as well.

   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2022 at 05:34 PM (#6077043)
Pujols would have the highest ERA out of anyone in the Hall of Fame, even higher than Jack Morris.
   26. Cris E Posted: May 16, 2022 at 10:41 PM (#6077105)
He'd need what, eight and a third shutout innings to innings to get ahead of Morris? Let's get after it St Louis.
   27. Howie Menckel Posted: May 16, 2022 at 11:44 PM (#6077122)
The legendary Jimmie Foxx, who started 89 games at C - mostly during his early apprenticeship - appeared in 9 games as a pitcher in his final season of 1945 at age 37 for the 108-loss Phillies (not his original Athletics).

he made 2 starts and went 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 23 innings. only 13 hits but 14 walks, yet hey it was wartime still. he also made 35 starts at 1B and 13 at 3B. he pitched 5 no-hit innings in one of those starts.

he also pitched a scoreless inning for the Red Sox in 1939, so his career ERA is 1.52.

is that the lowest ERA for a HOFer - or, at least, the lowest for one who ever allowed a run?
   28. kwarren Posted: May 17, 2022 at 01:00 AM (#6077133)
My idea: I think tiebreakers for the playoffs should go to the team with the greatest run differential for the season.


That is the rule this season isn't it?

No, it's not the rule. One game sudden playoff if a playoff spot is on the line. Otherwise head to head record.
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: May 17, 2022 at 01:06 AM (#6077134)
One game sudden playoff if a playoff spot is on the line.


There are no more one-game playoffs.
   30. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: May 17, 2022 at 02:15 AM (#6077136)
Breaking ties without playoff games

Coin tosses or drawing of lots will be used if all criteria below fail.

The team with the better head-to-head winning percentage during the regular season.
The team with the best overall record in intradivision games.*
The team with the best overall record in intraleague games.
The team with the best record in the final 81 intraleague games of the season.
The team with the best record in the final 82 intraleague games of the season (provided the game added is not between the tied teams), continue one game back until the tie is broken (Interleague games are skipped and ignored in this process.)
*all current references in mlb.com website indicate that this rule applies even for teams that are not in the same division.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: May 17, 2022 at 08:26 AM (#6077139)
what sport has ever had "diffential" as a factor?

never heard of it claimed for baseball..

maybe early NFL?
   32. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 17, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6077141)
I believe soccer commonly uses goal differential for things like World Cup qualifying and relegation in the English Premier League (both are obviously really big deals). I think this works in soccer for two reasons:

1) There aren't that many goals scored over the course of a season compared to runs in baseball, so every goal is very valuable;
2) I think soccer would be very easy to play a time-killing game of keep away if you have a lead and just want to protect it. You also have limited substitutions, so it isn't like you can just empty the bench the way you can in basketball or your bullpen.

I like it, because it makes innings more valuable. Was Pujols pitching fun to watch? Yes, of course. But it was fun because it is a joke, and this particular instance (the first time I can remember the teaming leading big putting in the position player) is the closest example I've seen yet of both teams just saying it out loud: This game is over, and nobody is going to try. If that's where the game was at, and everybody is so afraid of a pitcher, you know...pitching...then MLB should consider a change for 2023 where the teams can mutually agree to end the game early with the final score being what it is at any point.

The closest thing I can compare to this in sports is the Ryder Cup in golf:
1) If your opponent concedes a putt to you, you don't actually have to make the putt. (Obviously, this is mainly when the putt is within a few feet of the hole.)
2) Even though a match is 18 holes, the match is over as soon as somebody is up by more than there are holes remaining. (Jones defeated Smith 4 and 3, meaning Jones was up by four holes with only three left to play.) They do not play the final three holes in that example, because they both know the match is unwinnable.

In this Cardinals game, both teams have acknowledged the result was decided. Hitters are laughing, Pujols is laughing, everybody is goofing off....sure, the hitters were trying to hit home runs, but everybody knew that they weren't supposed to actually get on base and try to start a rally, etc. If somebody had bunted for a hit, all hell would have broken loose.

I think putting somebody in when you are winning is over the line, and once we've gone there, games should be able to be called if they get to a certain margin with a certain amount of outs to go. Because this is happening already, in effect.
   33. Ron J Posted: May 17, 2022 at 09:25 AM (#6077147)
The NHL has had some odd tiebreakers over the years. I dimly recall one season where it was going to come down to total goals (rather than goal differential) so a team pulled their goalie really early in an unsuccessful attempt to add some more goals. Memory says they needed 8 which is a pretty big ask.
   34. Perry Posted: May 17, 2022 at 01:49 PM (#6077180)
Soccer uses goal differential not just for relegation, but for ALL standings positions. Tottenham is currently in 4th place, 2 points ahead of Arsenal, with a game to play. If Arsenal win this weekend and Tottenham draws, they'll be level on points but Tottenham will get 4th place (and play in the Champions League next season) by virtue of goal differential. Well, unless Arsenal win 16-0.

And yes, it incentivizes teams to keep trying to score, or prevent scoring, all the way through blowout games.
   35. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 17, 2022 at 02:12 PM (#6077181)
Because this is happening already, in effect.


So why not let them goof around and have Pujols pitch? All else equal, more baseball and better than less baseball. All isn't equal here, but that's actually to the advantage of more baseball - weird things are fun! Teams throwing in the towel and messing around is more fun to watch than the ninth inning of an 11-5 game where everyone knows that the losing team is almost certainly going to lose, and the game ends with a walk, two strike outs, and a weak groundball to shortstop.

Looking at Pujols' b-r page, I see that he's got a FIP of 32.10. That's an ugly number, but I'm glad that Pujols has a FIP at all.
   36. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: May 17, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6077186)
If that's where the game was at, and everybody is so afraid of a pitcher, you know...pitching...then MLB should consider a change for 2023 where the teams can mutually agree to end the game early with the final score being what it is at any point.
This has the potential for all kinds of unintended consequences, incentives and shenanigans that would FAR outweigh the problem it is trying to solve. Competitively, advertising, gambling partners (ugh), fan experience (especially in person), etc.

I don't think this is actually a problem, but even granting that it is, I definitely think this is the wrong way to solve it.
   37. BDC Posted: May 17, 2022 at 04:27 PM (#6077209)
I'm glad that Pujols has a FIP at all

The outing did cost him -0.1 WAR, further complicating his quest to get back to 100 for his career :)
   38. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: May 17, 2022 at 05:01 PM (#6077216)
Or maybe it was constellation Pegasus.
If it's A-rod, it would be Sagittarius


Hay, either constellation is correct.

Actually... If it was A-Rod it would be Centaurus.
   39. Rob_Wood Posted: May 17, 2022 at 05:13 PM (#6077220)
I remember Montreal pulling their goalie in the 2nd period in a game with the Blackhawks, presumably the last game of the regular season. IIRC the deciding tiebreaker for making playoffs was total goals (not differential) and Montreal needed more goals to make playoffs. Again, IIRC, there were a lot of empty net goals during the remainder of the game.
   40. Ron J Posted: May 18, 2022 at 05:53 AM (#6077314)
#39 Yeah, that's the game I referenced earlier. They allowed 5 empty net goals.

They needed 5 goals to get the tie breaker (and didn't get them)

What I didn't remember is that the Rangers created this scenario by scoring 9 goals in their final game. And they also pulled their goalie with a 9-3 lead (and allowed two empty net goals). The Rangers got 65 shots in that game -- a really, really high total for that period. Detroit had clinched third and rested a number of key players.
   41. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 18, 2022 at 09:49 AM (#6077320)
The outing did cost him -0.1 WAR, further complicating his quest to get back to 100 for his career :)

It's quite possible! BB-ref has him at 99.7 counting the pitching. He finished above 100 WAR after 2016 (101.4) and 2020 (100.2). He's really hugging that line.
   42. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: May 18, 2022 at 08:36 PM (#6077401)
I remember Montreal pulling their goalie in the 2nd period in a game with the Blackhawks, presumably the last game of the regular season. IIRC the deciding tiebreaker for making playoffs was total goals (not differential) and Montreal needed more goals to make playoffs. Again, IIRC, there were a lot of empty net goals during the remainder of the game.


This happened after the 1969-70 Rangers, needing five goals in their last game to catch Montreal in goals for, scored nine against the Red Wings, who had already clinched their spot and were all hungover.

Unfortunately for Montreal, Chicago needed to win the game to clinch first place as Boston had won their final game.

It was the only time between 1949 and 1994 that the Canadiens missed the playoffs.

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