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by Jack Moore - May 17, 2011
Re: La Russa batting Pujols 3rd in the order rather than 4th — Batting Pujols 3rd guarantees Pujols a PA in the 1st inning when, according to TLR, many pitchers are vulnerable. That’s La Russa’s logic.
It also gives Pujols some more protection behind the guy that is a favorite to be intentionally walked. That might not be a problem this year if you put Berkman behind Pujols and Holliday in front of him,but years past, there was only one legitimate guy that could protect Pujols.
In the last couple years he often batted Brendan Ryan 9th. He may as well have been a second pitcher at the plate.