Cardinals' La Russa to bat pitcher eighth in 2009

Updated: September 27, 2008, 6:27 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS -- Tony La Russa intends to bat his pitcher eighth again next season, an unorthodox strategy that the St. Louis Cardinals' manager enthusiastically believes in.

La Russa's rationale: It gives him a second leadoff hitter in the ninth spot, and makes Albert Pujols, who bats third, a de facto cleanup hitter every time he hits after the first inning.

He'll take that scenario over the numerous times when the pitcher comes to the plate with two outs and runners in scoring position. ...

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