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October 22, 2011

Albert Pujols


St. Louis Cardinals 16
Texas Rangers 7

Q. You said yesterday you felt good about the way you were swinging the bat, maybe not getting the results, but to get the results that way tonight, does it reinforce everything you thought about the way you were swinging?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, I'll tell you, I felt that I swung the bat pretty good the last couple of games and just -- that's the way baseball goes. It is what it is, and you just have to make sure you don't get frustrated and just make sure that you bounce back the next day, that whatever it takes our ballclub to win. Obviously it's a blessing to be able to do that today.
I mean, there's so many guys in the lineup that had a huge night, starting with Allen. Right away in the first inning, he kind of took the crowd out of the way. You know, Yadi, another huge night. It's unbelievable. The guy is not only the best catcher in the game, but he also is the best clutch hitter that I've ever seen. The guy is amazing.
It was just a great team win. Everybody contributed. We had good quality at-bats. We just took our game plan out there, and we executed pretty much.

Q. (Question in Spanish).
ALBERT PUJOLS: He said how does it feel to be in the same category of Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth. I just told him it's pretty special. Those guys are great players, and to do it at that level and on this stage is amazing. But I told him that at the same time I didn't walk into the ballpark today thinking that I was going to have a night like this. I walked to the ballpark with the attitude that I have every day to help this ballclub to win, and I was able to do that, defensively and offensively.
Just pretty special, you know, but at the same time, you need to enjoy this for a minute and be ready to play tomorrow. They're going to be ready to play, the Rangers. They have a unbelievable ballclub. And you saw today, we scored some runs, they bounced back and scored some runs, too. I thought it showed a lot of heart.

Q. Along those lines, 14 total bases, nobody has ever done that in a World Series game before. The RBIs, the home runs, arguably the greatest offensive performance in a World Series game ever. What do you think about that and how does that make you feel?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, that will show you the kind of ballclub that we have. I think everybody was just concentrating on the tough loss that we had in St. Louis a couple of days ago and how we were going to bounce back. We know what kind of ballclub we have. I think we've been through so much this year. I told you guys yesterday when I was talking to the media. It looked like another game that we should have won but it didn't happen, but we flipped the page and came ready to play today. We had our hitters' meeting, and we went through how we were going to approach the pitcher. I don't think anybody had any bad at-bats on our team, and we just executed pretty well. There's so many guys, like I say, in the lineup that had some big at-bats, and we just keep scoring runs. You don't make 27 outs in the bottom of the ninth and this game is not over. Just as quick as we scored four runs, they came back and scored three, and we scored two or three more and they scored two. That's how this game goes.

Q. Understanding what your team is about and the great teammates you have, still, you individually, greatest World Series performance offensively ever. I know you like to talk about the team, but what about you on this night?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, you just said, it's not about me. This is about our ballclub. I just thank God that I was able to contribute tonight and help our ballclub to win, and hopefully I can do that tomorrow and the rest of the series. It takes 25 guys on the roster, it takes 30-some guys that we're carrying on this ballclub, and it's about representing the Cardinals and to be able to contribute. I'm just blessed that I was able to do that tonight and be part of those nine guys or ten guys that were on the field.

Q. You have been obviously one of the best hitters, best players in baseball for your whole career. This game will obviously elevate you even more. Are you comfortable with that as the individual focus as one of the faces of baseball and that this will catapult you to a higher level?
ALBERT PUJOLS: To tell you the truth, I won't lie, I don't concentrate on numbers. I just said it, this is not an individual game; this is a team effort. That's what I try to do every day, to go out there and help my ballclub to win however I can. Hopefully at the end of my career I can look back and say, wow, what a game it was in Game 3 in 2011, but as of right now, it's great to get this win and just move on pretty much and get ready to play tomorrow.

Q. Did you allow yourself even the luxury up eight runs in the ninth inning to go up there looking for a third home run?
ALBERT PUJOLS: No. You know, I think I had so many at-bats in my career that I learned better, I know better than that. You can even try in BP, try and hit a ball out of the park, and it's pretty tough. When you're swinging the bat well, you feel good at the plate. All you try and do is just put a good swing. Don't try to expand the strike zone, and hopefully let the barrel of the bat catch the ball and maybe go out of the park. But I wasn't thinking about it. I wasn't even going to ask Tony, do you want Laird get one or pinch-hit and go play first base? But knowing Tony he wasn't going to take me out of the game.
But like I said, just glad that I was able to contribute tonight. It's a big win.

Q. Could you take us through the three home runs, the pitch sequence, what you hit.
ALBERT PUJOLS: Fastball up, 1-1 count, and I was able to get the head out. And then fastball middle in my second one. And the last one I think it was a cutter, and I was able to get the barrel out and put some good swings.

Q. You're used to getting pitched around a lot. Were you surprised, first of all, that you got some pitches that you could actually hit out tonight? And second part, do you expect to be pitched a little bit differently tomorrow?
ALBERT PUJOLS: The second part, you know what, I've got so many great hitters behind me right now that I actually just am going to come to the ballpark and do the same thing that I did today, just get ready to play and don't think about the performance that I had the night before. It's about what can I do tomorrow for this ballclub. After tonight, that's pretty much what it is.
And then what was the other one?

Q. Were you surprised --
ALBERT PUJOLS: Oh, the pitching? I've said it so many times in my career, it doesn't matter who's in front of me or behind me, I still feel that I need to get a good pitch to hit, and if it's there, just try and put my best swing and don't look at it, oh, man, this is a situation that they're not going to pitch to me. This game is so hard already mentally that you don't have the time to -- even though sometimes you want to think like that, but you don't have the time, because when you're out there in the batters' box, you don't have any time to think about it. Just look for a pitch and put your best swing. And that's what I did tonight.

Q. On top of everything else tonight, Tony goes into second place in all-time postseason wins as a manager. You've played with him for a long time. How does that sit with you? What do you think about it?
ALBERT PUJOLS: It's pretty special. I just thank God every day that I'm able to wear this uniform and share a special moment with Tony. Like you said, I've been with him for 11 years, and he's been like a dad to me. It's pretty special. As soon as he's done with this game, he's going to be obviously in the Hall of Fame, and to share that, those moments with him, it's pretty special. And those are moments pretty much that when you're done with this game, you can take with you, on top of the bad memories and tough strikeouts and tough losses. But those are special moments, you know, that you take. Knowing Tony, he's going to continue to do it. That's why he's one of the best in the business.

Q. There was a lot of attention on you yesterday, a lot written and said, maybe even more than usual. Did any of that give you any extra motivation heading into this game?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Not really. What can I say? To tell you the truth, I just come and get ready to play. I've been in that situation before where people just blow things out, and it is what it is, and you can't really think about that. My main focus is we are in the World Series.
The sad part of that was that you got two great quality pitching, and nobody talked about that, about Jaime and Lewis. Nobody talked about that. They just concentrated about that I left the clubhouse when I was there for 25 minutes, nobody approached me. That's pretty sad that we are in the World Series and you have quality pitching like that and there was nobody talking about it. At the same time I feel embarrassed that everybody was just focused on that, and I was in the middle of that, when you had Jaime out there throwing one of his best postseason games ever and you had Lewis doing the same thing against some tough offense. I was really embarrassed, to tell you the truth, that we were in the middle of that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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