Not long after the Philadelphia Phillies took back home field advantage in the NLDS with a Game 3 victory in St. Louis on Tuesday night, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols complained about the difficulty of playing postseason games that begin late in the afternoon.
Pujols, who will be a free agent this offseason, explained that's tough to play as afternoon gives way to evening due to the mix of shadows and sunshine. The slugger then took a shot at Major League Baseball for unevenly divvying up the evening games during the playoffs.
"We've been talking (about the shadows) all year long, and there's nothing you can do about it," he said, per the Associated Press. "Maybe if we were the New York Yankees maybe we would have played an 8 o'clock game today."
The Yankees, who play the Detroit Tigers in Game 5 on Thursday night, were scheduled to play each ALDS game at 8 p.m. ET. Of course, the late afternoon start to Game 4 couldn't have bothered Pujols too much. He did go 4 for 5.
Pujols has been the only source of complaints in the Cardinals' clubhouse recently. In an interview during the TBS broadcast of Game 2, Cards manager Tony La Russa claimed that plate umpire Jerry Meals had "two different strike zones." His televised criticism resulted in a fine.
Ironically, the pitcher who beat the Cardinals on Tuesday has previously complained about playing postseason day games. Phillies star Cole Hamels said before the 2009 playoffs began that he didn't think it was fair for the defending World Series champs to play games at 2 o'clock.
The Phillies went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series that year. All of those games were in the evening.
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