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#pounditSunday, September 27, 2020

Astros use highly unusual shift against Albert Pujols

Albert Pujols

The Houston Astros used an unusual shift to defend against Albert Pujols on Thursday night, and it worked.

During Pujols’ at-bat in the bottom of the third, the Astros put three players to the left of second base, moving their shortstop and second baseman to the shallow part of the outfield. The shift was very similar to what teams will do against slow-running, pull-hitting lefties.

Pujols grounded out to deep shortstop and was thrown out on the play.

Houston has been known for having a predilection towards defensive shifts, so if anyone was to use an extreme shift on Pujols, it would be them. But it’s rare to see that sort of shift on a right-handed batter, for a few reasons. One, that’s a long distance for the person on the right side of the infield to run just to reach first for the force out. Two, that’s a really long throw for the shortstop and second baseman to make from the shallow outfield. Such a shift only is possible because Pujols is incredibly slow these days. Credit to Houston for taking advantage of that.

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