Pujols pitches, give up two homers at the end of wild Giants loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Giants’ game against the Cardinals in St. Louis on Sunday got out of hand early and by the end, there was position player-turned-pitcher hitting a homer off a future Hall of Fame slugger-turned-pitcher.
With the Cardinals in firm control of their eventual 15-6 win over the Giants, both teams used positions players on the mound late in the blowout.
Giants manager Gabe Kapler turned to outfielder Luis Gonzalez at the end of the bottom of the seventh and for the entire bottom of the eighth, while Cardinals manager Oli Marmol decided to use 42-year-old Albert Pujols as a pitcher in the top of the ninth inning.
After all, the Cardinals had a 13-run lead after eight innings. Might as well try to save an inning on the arms of their relievers, right?
The hilarity commenced in the ninth when Pujols took the mound.
With one out and one runner on, Evan Longoria singled to the left field. No big deal, right? Not even close. Longoria loudly called for the ball. He wanted it as a keepsake.
After Thairo Estrada grounded into a fielder’s choice, Gonzalez came up and deposited a 53 mph “slider” into the right field seats. That homer will count as one by a pitcher.
Joey Bart, who has struggled mightily at the plate this season, came up next and took the fourth pitch from Pujols out to the left.
Pujols managed to get LaMonte Wade Jr. to ground out to end the game and his first career pitching appearance.
The all-time great has hit 681 career homers and now has allowed two long balls.
While Pujols was able to smile and laugh about it after the game, his final line was: 1 inning pitched, three hits allowed, four earned runs, one walk and two homers yielded. He did not strike out anyone and his career ERA now stands at 36.00.
The Giants didn’t have much fun during Sunday’s blowout loss, but some of the players did seem to enjoy watching Pujols pitch.
Hopefully for the Giants, they can carry the home run swagger into their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field beginning on Monday night.