MILWAUKEE • Much of the description of the exchange of hit batters and anger of the location of several pitches to Albert Pujols in this series can be found in the updated gamer here at STLtoday.com.
But there was not infinite room in that story and thus not all of manager Tony La Russa's heated defense of his team's "tactics" and stinging rebuke of the Brewers' approach was recreated there.
This seems like a good place to do that.
La Russa didn't take issue so much with the question about the Cardinals obvious retaliation of Takashi Saito plunking Pujols in the hand with a fastball. He did play semantics with the description of the pitch from Jason Motte into Ryan Braun's ribs being "intentional." He did get so deep into one near-rant that he referred to members of the crowd as "idiots" before quickly correcting himself, as you'll see for yourself in the unabridged comments. And he did insist that had Braun dodged the second attempt to throw inside on him the matter would have been over. The Cardinals would have moved on.
Here is the complete explanation:
(On the pitch that hit Pujols)
"Yeah, real scary," La Russa said. "They almost got him yesterday too. There's nothing intentional about it. But they throw the ball in here and that's what all those idiots up there -- not idiots -- all those fans up there are yelling. Do you know how many bones there are in the hand? Do you know how many bones there are in the face? That's where those pitches are. And Braun -- we were trying to pitch him in too, and it was just a little stinger. I don't want to even hear about Braun getting a little pop in the back, when we almost lose this guy (Pujols) in several ways. The ball up and in is a dangerous pitch."
(It looked like the intent was to hit Braun.)
"You don't think they were trying to throw the ball intentionally up and in?" La Russa responded. "We weren't trying to hit Braun either. We did not hit Braun on purpose. We threw two balls in there real good just to send a message. If he ducks them, it's all over and we don't hit him. The ball they tried to throw on Pujols was aimed right where they aimed it. Did they try to hit him? No. But there's a small window here. You know how close that is to your face and your hands?
"I don't want to hear about our tactics vs. what they did," La Russa continued. "They did not make an intentional hit, but they tried to throw the ball up and in. It's a very dangerous pitch and we almost paid a hell of a price. Just look at the location and potential danger of the two (pitches).
"That's a dangerous pitch whoever throws it."
(On why this irate reaction to a pitch that he admitted didn't hit Pujols intentionally.)
"I'm tired of the danger," La Russa concluded. "Get the ball down if you want to get the ball inside. That's one of the ways you avoid any nonsense."
Read an extensive blog entry on the Milwaukee Brewers' view of the HBP exchange here at The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's site, where beat writer Tom Haudricourt captures the comments from the other clubhouse.