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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-04-17

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-04-17

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-04-17
The Diamondbacks concluded a six-game set against the two best hitters in the National League with acceptable damage, if not great results.

Manny Ramirez was 3-for-7 with three singles and one RBI when the Los Angeles Dodgers won two of three games at Chase Field last weekend, and St. Louis' Albert Pujols was 4-for-14 with four RBIs when the Cardinals won two out of three in a series that ended Wednesday.

Pujols had two doubles, a homer and scored four times, but his ninth-inning single Tuesday was perhaps the best example of his aptitude at the plate. With the count 0-2, Pujols took a high, inside fastball through the hole between first and second base in a two-run rally that tied the game in the ninth inning, although the D-backs won it in the 10th inning.

"He kept his hands inside the ball and shot it over there in the hole that was open. He is aware of how you are playing him," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said.

"You look at his hot and cold zones. It's difficult to find some cold zones. Guys typically tend to be low-ball hitters or high-ball hitters. More inside. More outside. There is really nowhere to go with him, and that's why you have to mix it up and not show him the same look. He's smart on top of it. He pays attention, at-bat to at-bat, to how guys are pitching him."

The D-backs intentionally walked Pujols once in the series after walking Ramirez five times last weekend. Ramirez was 20-for-32 against the D-backs after joining the Dodgers at the July 31 trading deadline last season.

"(Pujols) and Manny probably have the best idea (about hitting), whether it is setting up pitchers or understanding what they are going to do. They watch a lot of video. They know what is going on when they are up there," Melvin said.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 17, 2009

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