The Greatest Game

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers by a final score of 16-7 to take a 2-1 lead in the 2011 World Series; however, the 2-1 series lead takes a backseat to another storyline:  the dominance of Albert Pujols.

Albert Pujols joins Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit three home runs in a single World Series game (Ruth accomplished the feat twice).

Pujols put on a hitting display that may go down as the greatest individual offensive performance by any player in World Series history.  Pujols went five-for-six with three home runs; Pujols joined Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson as the only other players to hit three home runs in a World Series game.

The first Pujols home run went an estimated 431 feet, the second home run went an estimated 424 feet and the third went an estimated 420 feet.

What was most impressive about the performance of Pujols was not the fact that he hit three home runs in one game or that he hit his final home run in the ninth inning.  The impressive thing about his feat is that he tied or set seven MLB records in one World Series game!  Displayed below are the World Series records Pujols broke or tied.

Most home runs
3:  Babe Ruth (10-6-1926)
3:  Babe Ruth (10-9-1928)
3:  Reggie Jackson (10-18-1977)
3:  Albert Pujols (10-22-2011)

Most hits
5:  Paul Molitor (10-12-1982) [all singles]
5:  Albert Pujols (10-22-2011) [three home runs and two singles]

Runs batted in (RBI)
6:  Bobby Richardson (10-8-1960)
6:  Hideki Matsui (11-4-2009)
6:  Albert Pujols (10-22-2011)

Runs
4:  Babe Ruth (10-6-1926)
4:  Earle Combs (10-2-1932)
4:  Frank Crosetti (10-2-1936)
4:  Enos Slaughter (10-10-1946)
4:  Reggie Jackson (10-18-1977)
4:  Kirby Puckett (10-24-1987)
4:  Carney Lansford (10-27-1989)
4:  Lenny Dykstra (10-20-1993)
4:  Jeff Kent (10-24-2002)
4:  Albert Pujols (10-22-2011)

Total bases
14:  Albert Pujols (10-22-2011)
12:  Babe Ruth (10-6-1926)
12:  Babe Ruth (10-9-1928)
12:  Reggie Jackson (10-18-1977)

In addition to the five records above, Pujols also set two other records.  Pujols became the first player in World Series history to get a hit in four consecutive innings.  Pujols also became the first player in World Series history to have four or more hits in a World Series game in which he hit two or more home runs.  In all, this amounts to at least seven World Series records set by Pujols in one game.

The series is far from over, as the Cardinals lead 2-1 over the Rangers; however, the performance by Pujols makes this game an instant classic and may be the single greatest performance by any player in the history of a World Series game.

Christopher Wenrich is a senior fantasy baseball contributor for BaseballDigest.com and can be reached at philliesmuse@yahoo.com.  You can follow him on Twitter @DuggerSports.

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