In a span of three innings, Allen Craig was twice gunned down trying to steal second base. In each instance, a hit-and-run was called, but Albert Pujols failed to make contact, making Craig look like the goat in each instance. In fact, the blame goes to Pujols and Tony LaRussa on those two calls.
In the seventh inning, Craig took off on an 0-1 fastball from Alexi Ogando that was outside to Pujols, who never offered at the pitch. The throw down got Craig in plenty of time. After the game, Pujols told MLB.com, he called for the hit and run himself.
“A hit-and-run was put on, by me, is that a problem?” added Pujols, who relayed his signal through third-base coach Jose Oquendo. “It was a 99-mph pitch away that I couldn’t even get my bat on,” he said. “So I let it go.”
Then, in the ninth with Neftali Feliz on the mound and Craig on first base with Pujols at the plate, La Russa called the hit-and-run from the bench. Pujols missed for strike three, and Napoli nailed Craig at second base.