Braun’s take on La Russa rant
Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun said he had turned the page Wednesday morning after absorbing the Cardinals’ purpose pitch the previous night.
But he disputed Cardinals manager Tony La Russa’s spirited and lecture about the ethics of pitching inside. La Russa argued that the Takashi Saito pitch that struck St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols in the left hand in the seventh inning Tuesday night required a “message” be sent to the Brewers and Braun. So Cardinals reliever Jason Motte fired consecutive fastballs inside on Braun, the second of which struck Braun in the back.
“I get it,” Braun said. “I certainly understand where [La Russa] is coming from. But at the same time, any good hitter in this league has to be pitched up and in at times. I get it. Prince [Fielder] gets it. You have to throw Albert that way, you have to throw Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman. You can’t allow guys to be comfortable. Occasionally, you have to make that pitch.
“Nobody ever wants to hit anybody. Clearly, we weren’t trying to hit Albert [with runners] at first and third, nobody out and Holliday and Berkman coming up next.”
That hit batsman helped the Cardinals tie the game at 7, and what really burned Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is that the Brewers failed to answer in their half of the inning. Milwaukee loaded the bases with nobody out after Braun’s plunking gave the Brewers a free baserunner, but Cardinals rookie reliever Lance Lynn managed to escape the inning with the tie intact.
The Cardinals finally won four innings later, in the 11th, when Holliday reached on an infield single, stole his first base of the season and scored on Berkman’s bloop hit to left field.
Both Pujols and Braun were in the lineups for Wednesday’s series finale. Braun said he was “fine” because Motte’s pitch did not deliver a direct hit. It instead deflected off Braun’s left arm and got him on the left side of his back.
“It”s over and done with,” Braun said, who actually enjoys the tension between the teams. “From a competition standpoint, it makes it more enjoyable. They have a good team, we have a good team, we expect them to be in it until the end. It just makes the competition that much more fun.
“You don’t want to get hit, but yesterday’s over. Whatever. They did what they felt they needed to do, and in my opinion, you move on. You don’t want to get in a beanball war. That’s not fun and it’s not safe.”
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