MILWAUKEE — Leave “Beast Mode” to the guys on the other team. Albert Pujols was just a monster.
The St. Louis slugger had one of the biggest postseason nights of his career in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series, going 4 for 5 with a home run, three doubles and five RBIs to lead the Cardinals past the Milwaukee Brewers 12-3 on Monday.
Pujols belted a two-run homer in the first, a two-run double in the third and an RBI double in the fifth, then added another double in the seventh. The crowd cheered sarcastically when the Brewers finally retired him in the eighth.
“Sometimes when they come, they come in a bunch,” Pujols said.
His big hits came one night after Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder bashed the Brewers to a 9-6, come-from-behind victory in Game 1.
This time, the big bats couldn’t bring Milwaukee back — even at Miller Park. Milwaukee was the best home team in the majors all season and the Brewers had won all four home games in the playoffs until Monday.
The Cardinals’ commanding victory temporarily silenced the boisterous Brewers and their trademark “Beast Mode” celebration gesture.
“It wasn’t joyful,” Fielder said. “You’ve just got to deal with it and move on.”
The series now shifts to St. Louis, where Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter faces Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo in Game 3 on Wednesday night.
“Our attitude was we’ve got to win a game to make it a series,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said.
Pujols can become a free agent after the World Series, so a big postseason could raise his price. The three-time NL MVP was 1 for 4 in Sunday night’s loss, hitting into a double play with runners on first and third in the seventh inning. A run scored on the play, but it seemed to be an indication that Pujols wasn’t quite on his game. He came into Monday with only one RBI in the Cardinals’ first six postseason games.
“You learn from the mistakes that you made,” Pujols said. “Yesterday was just so tough. Going to bed, I was just thinking about some of the opportunities I had to help our ballclub win. I turned that page, knowing today was a new day.”
Source: Associated Press