Roger Schlueter

MLB notebook: World Series Game 3

MLB notebook: World Series Game 3

MLB notebook: World Series Game 3
Flint Rhem, Hi Bell, Bill Sherdel and Pete Alexander all pitched for the Cardinals at some point in their respective careers. All four of those men pitched for St. Louis in the World Series. And all four, as members of the Cardinals, surrendered a home run to Babe Ruth in the Fall Classic.

These four hurlers are the men responsible for the pair of three-home run games by Ruth in the World Series, which, until Saturday night, was the Redbirds' only World Series connection to three-home run games.

Albert Pujols put the Cardinals on the right side of the historic ledger in Game 3, and he gave Rangers hurlers Alexi Ogando, Michael Gonzalez and Darren Oliver unwanted spots in the record books.


Pujols tied World Series records for home runs, hits and RBIs, and he set a new mark for total bases, leading the Cardinals to a 16-7 victory over the Rangers in Game 3. St. Louis took a 2-1 Series lead.

Albert Pujols
Pujols went 5-for-6 with three homers, two singles, and six RBIs. He joined Ruth (1926 Game 4 and 1928 Game 4) and Reggie Jackson (1977 Game 6) as the only players to hit three homers in a World Series game. The six RBIs tied the Fall Classic record previously shared by Bobby Richardson (1960 Game 3) and Hideki Matsui (2009 Game 6). The five hits tied Paul Molitor's record, set in Game 1 of the 1982 World Series, and Pujols' 14 total bases eclipsed the mark of 12 accumulated by Ruth and Jackson in their three-homer games. The 14 total bases tied Pujols with Bob Robertson (1971 National League Championship Series Game 2) for the most in a postseason game.

Saturday's game marked the third time this postseason Pujols had collected three extra-base hits -- he had three doubles in Game 3 of the NL Division Series and three doubles and a home run in Game 2 of the NLCS. Before Pujols, no player had even two games with three or more extra-base hits in a single postseason. Pujols' three this fall are one more than any other player has had in a career. Career-wise, Pujols had been tied with five other players -- Ruth, Duke Snider, George Brett, Alex Rodriguez and Evan Longoria -- at two.

The three-homer game gave Pujols 12 extra-base hits in this year's postseason, leaving him one shy of tying Nelson Cruz's all-time high mark, set last year. Pujols has 45 total bases this postseason, leaving him two shy of tying the record shared by Troy Glaus (2002) and Carlos Beltran ('04). Pujols collected 46 extra-base hits in the '04 postseason.

Pujols has 16 RBIs in this year's postseason. That total is tied with Fred McGriff (1996), Barry Bonds (2002), Benito Santiago ('02), Manny Ramirez ('07), B.J. Upton ('08) and David Freese ('11) for the ninth most.

Pujols' three home runs gave him 18 in his postseason career (four in the NLDS, 10 in the NLCS, four in the Fall Classic), tying him with Mickey Mantle (18 in the World Series) and Jackson (two in the American League Division Series, six in the American League Championship Series, 10 in the World Series) for the fourth most in history.

Offensive fireworks
The Cardinals scored 16 runs on 15 hits in Game 3.

The 16 runs tied this club with the 1960 Yankees (Game 2) and 2002 Giants (Game 5) for the second most in World Series history. The 1936 Yankees (Game 2) scored 18 runs. The previous high for a Cardinals club was 13 runs scored in Game 6 in the '82 World Series.

The 15 hits were the most for a team in a World Series game since the Red Sox collected 15 in Game 3 of the 2007 Fall Classic. The 15 are the most for an NL club since the Giants had 16 in Game 5 in '02, and the most for the Cardinals since they had 15 in Game 7 of the 1982 World Series.

The Cardinals had seven extra-base hits -- the three Pujols homers to go along with a pair of doubles from Yadier Molina, a home run from Allen Craig, and a double by David Freese. The seven are the most in the World Series since the Giants had seven in Game 1 in 2010. The high mark is nine, shared by the 1925 Pirates (eight doubles and a triple in Game 7) and the 2007 Red Sox (eight doubles and a home run in Game 1). The seven tied a franchise high for the World Series, set previously in Game 7 in 1934, Game 4 in '46 and Game 4 in '68.

The two teams combined for 28 hits and 23 runs. The World Series record for combined hits is 32, by the Yankees and Pirates in Game 2 in 1960, and matched by the Blue Jays and Phillies in Game 4 in '93. The record for most combined runs is 29, by the Blue Jays and Phillies in Game 4 in '93.

Saturday's game marked the ninth time in World Series history each team had as many as 13 hits. The others:

• 1923 Game 4, Yankees and Giants
• 1926 Game 4, Yankees and Cardinals
• 1945 Game 6, Cubs and Tigers
• 1947 Game 3, Dodgers and Yankees
• 1960 Game 2, Yankees and Pirates
• 1973 Game 2, Mets and Athletics
• 1981 Game 4, Dodgers and Yankees
• 1993 Game 4, Blue Jays and Phillies

David Freese
Freese went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, extending his postseason hitting streak to 13 games. Only Marquis Grissom (1995) and Manny Ramirez (2004), with hits in 14 straight games, have had longer streaks in a single postseason since 1995.

Freese has seven doubles, 11 extra-base hits, 16 RBIs and 40 total bases this postseason. The seven doubles are tied with six others (including Pujols this season) for the most for a single playoff year. The 16 RBIs are tied with six others with the ninth most. The 11 extra-base hits are tied with seven others for the third most for any player in a single year's worth of postseason games. Freese is one of 14 players to have at least 40 total bases in a postseason.

Freese and Pujols are:

• The second set of teammates to each have as many as 16 RBIs in the same postseason. Rich Aurilia (17), Bonds (16) and Santiago (16) did it for the Giants in 2002.
• The third set of teammates to each collect 40 total bases in a postseason. In 2002, the Giants' Bonds collected 44 and Aurilia accumulated 40, and in 2004, the Cardinals' Larry Walker (41) and Pujols (46) each reached the mark.

Adrian Beltre
Texas' Adrian Beltre went 4-for-5 with a double and three singles. He is one of 64 players to have at least four hits in a World Series game, and one of 13 third basemen to do it. Of the previous 12 third basemen with a four-hit game, four did it in a losing effort: Frankie Frisch (1921 Game 1), Jim Gilliam (1959 Game 5), Brooks Robinson (1970 Game 4) and Terry Pendleton (1991 Game 6).

With Beltre collecting four hits and Pujols tying the World Series record with five, this game marked the fourth time a pair (or more) of players had at least four hits in a single contest, and the first time since Brewers teammates Molitor and Robin Yount accomplished the feat in the opener of the 1982 Fall Classic.

Nelson Cruz
Cruz hit his seventh home run of the 2011 postseason. That total is tied for the third most for a single year. Bonds ('02) and Carlos Beltran ('04) are tied for the most, with eight, and sit ahead of the quartet at seven: Glaus ('02), Upton ('08), and Jayson Werth ('09) and Cruz.

Allen Craig
Craig's first-inning home run gave him an RBI in each of his first three World Series games. Craig is the 18th player to begin his World Series career with at least one RBI in each of his first three games.

Amos Otis (1980) owns the longest streak, with an RBI in each of his first five contests. The group with three straight: Wally Schang (1913), Jim Bottomley ('26), Frank Demaree ('32-35), Joe Gordon ('38), Bill Nicholson ('45), Dusty Rhodes ('54), Carlton Fisk ('75), Clark ('85), Eric Davis ('90), Bonds (2002), Joe Crede ('05) and Lance Berkman ('05). Four other players began their World Series career with an RBI in four straight games: Ben Chapman (1932), Bob Watson ('81), Tony Fernandez ('93) and Jim Eisenreich ('93).

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.