The Bonds Treatment?
I’ve been waiting for a while for Albert Pujols to start getting the Barry Bonds treatment. At some point, no matter how good the rest of his team may be, I just figured that opponents would get tired of watching Pujols smack line drives around the park. Remember, way back in 2001, when Bonds first set the walk record, it happened despite the fact that there were some other very dangerous hitters in the Giants lineup.
Anyway, it may finally be happening with Pujols. With a man on third, one out and Scott Rolen on deck in a 2-0 game on Tuesday, the Brewers put up four fingers for Pujols and took their chances with Rolen. I suppose it sort of worked, depending on what your goals are. Rolen hit a sac fly to make it 3-0 Cards, but Mark Grudzielanek grounded into a force play (not a fielder’s choice; a force play) to end the inning.
It’s true that Pujols has punished the Brewers even more than other teams this year, and it’s true that the rest of the Cards’ lineup tonight (no Larry Walker, no Jim Edmonds, no Reggie Sanders) is about as unimposing as you’ll see them trot out all year. But it was definitely striking, and I wonder if it will start to happen more often. Bears watching, at least.