Last night Albert Pujols went 5-for-6 with 6 RBIs. 'El Hombre' hit a 3 run home run in the 6th, a 2 run home run in the 7th and a solo home run in the 9th. On October 22, Albert Pujols cemented his place in baseball and Cardinal lore.
Superlatives seem inadequate at the moment. In last night's game, Albert transcended words like "great" and "excellent". People trying to describe the historic element of it miss the purely visceral joy of watching the game. People trying to describe the visceral aspect will miss the historic one.
Imagine yourself limited to pre-WWII vocabulary. Now describe the internet to me. Imagine how difficult it would be to describe something that's never been seen before in your lifetime with modern parlance. It requires you to develop a new set of descriptors and to illustrate those descriptors to develop the meaning behind them. Albert Pujols was simply too good to capture in written word last night. Let's try though.Jayson Stark, ESPN:
How do we digest the magnitude of what we just witnessed? How do we make our brains process the unprecedented show that Pujols just unfurled in Game 3 of a World Series that might be his final act as a Cardinal?
Three home runs -- in a World Series game? Five hits -- in a World Series game? Six RBIs and 14 total bases -- in a World Series game?
Who does this? That's what we ask ourselves.
Then came Pujols, right there with the Babe and Reg-gie among October legends, but alone for an entire generation. Pujols wasn't even born when Jackson hit his three home runs.
Pujols did his best not to allow himself to admire what Jackson once called "the magnitude of me." He was gracious in praise of his teammates, humble in being asked to reflect on what he had just accomplished.
After Allen Craig's strikeout, Pujols assaulted a 1-1 fastball from Alexi Ogando that was up and in, drilling it off the façade above the club in left field. The ball was estimated to have traveled 423 feet, but it's hard to think there wasn't some sort of conversion factor at play there -- it was one of the most impressive homers you're ever likely to see, at least somewhat reminiscent of his famous blast off Brad Lidge in 2005.
"It doesn't matter how far it goes," Pujols said. "At that time, we needed a score. I just went up there and looked for a good pitch to hit. He's a great pitcher but he left the ball up, and I put up my best swing of the night. I'm just glad we got some runs back after they scored three runs in that inning."
Quite simply, no player has accomplished in one Series game what Pujols did Saturday night.
A player constantly defined by superlatives torched the Rangers bullpen for 13 of his World Series record 14 total bases and all six of his record-tying six RBIs. He became the second player in Series history to compile five hits in a game.
In one night he shook not only Game 3 but also more than 100 years of World Series history.
He heard that Pujols became just the third player in history to hit three home runs in a World Series game, joining Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson with his performance in Game 3. He heard that Pujols tied a World Series record with five hits, matched another with six RBIs, eclipsed one with 14 total bases and set still another with hits in four consecutive innings.
"I've had about an hour to put it in perspective," Holliday said afterward. "It's pretty good."
"I'm not amazed,'' said the Cards' Lance Berkman. "I've seen it too many times. He's just the greatest.''
Not amazed? Then Berkman needs a baseball history lesson because he's never seen this before.
Those 14 total bases? A World Series first.
Hits in four consecutive innings? A World Series record.
Those three dingers? Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson are the only other players to have hit three home runs in a World Series game.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said Pujols should be outlawed.
"He's a super player, no doubt about it. He certainly came to play tonight."
This starry night — Oct. 22, 2011 — belonged to Albert Pujols. And we will always remember where we were, when we saw The Great Pujols rearrange baseball history by giving the most transcendent performance by a hitter in World Series history.
Can we be like Lance Berkman and accept the incredible as ordinary?
Should Albert be outlawed?
Did you catch the Ryan Theriot "It is what it is?" quote? Cause we got that last night also.
I have a brother who is 16 years my junior. He doesn't play baseball except to play catch when I come over. He doesn't watch cable TV at home so he sees the handful of games that he gets taken to or when he's at my home. He was too young (5 years old) to appreciate the magnitude of the 2006 World Series.
Despite all this, my little brother is a baseball fan. He calls me about games after checking the score on the internet. When I talk to him today, it won't be about history or Reggie Jackson or Babe Ruth. It won't be about Albert's place in the history books. It will be about how he loves to watch Albert play.
In the midst of all this greatness, it's still the little things that get me. Albert Pujols makes young boys love the game of baseball. Forget the three homeruns. Forget the records. Forget the history. Last night, we were all just little boys watching our favorite player do amazing things. Can you ask for anything more than that in October?