La Russa accepts blame for Game 5 bullpen confusion

La Russa accepts blame for Game 5 bullpen confusion

Credit: AP Photo

In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, the visiting team's dugout phone to the bullpen, bottom, left is shown after Game 5 of baseball's World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is taking full responsibility for the bullpen phone mix-up that dearly cost the Cardinals Monday night. The Rangers won 4-2 and took a 3-2 edge in the Series. (AP Photo/Jamie Aron)

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 11:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 25 at 11:28 PM

ARLINGTON - Game 5 of the World Series won't be remembered for how starter C.J. Wilson struggled, or how catcher Mike Napoli won the game.

Instead, it may be remembered more for mistakes made by the Cardinals.
 
St. Louis left 12 runners on base, but their problems ran much deeper.
 
In the seventh inning, Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig thought a hit-and-run had been called. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols said he calls his own hit-and-runs but at the time, he didn't. Craig was thrown out at second by Napoli.
 
And when David Murphy loaded the bases with an infield hit in the eighth, manager Tony La Russa couldn't get the pitcher he wanted.
 
He wanted Jason Motte to face Mike Napoli, but Motte wasn't ready because of confusion in the bullpen.
 
"Yeah, that's why [reliever Lance] Lynn got up, and when I went out there, I thought it was Motte," La Russa said. "They were yelling at me as I went out. I didn't hear them. It wasn't Motte, so I saw Lynn, and I said, 'Oh, what are you doing here?'"
 
Five days earlier in Game 1, La Russa was credited for making a wise strategic move by using Craig as a pinch hitter against Alexi Ogando. Craig drove in the game-winning run in a 3-2 victory.
 
Tuesday, La Russa was criticized for not getting the right message to the bullpen.
 
"It just happens," La Russa said. "It's loud down there, and sometimes you call down there and you have to wait for the crowd, and the guy gets up late. This is not unusual."
When asked if there was a better way, La Russa responded, "Yeah, smoke signals!"

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