I missed this over the weekend, but it seems that some players weren't so happy with Coop for walking what - for a time - was a .250-hitting Albert Pujols to face a .586-hitting Matt Holliday on Friday night.
"I think that now is not the time to walk anybody to pitch to (Holliday). I think Holliday is very hot. I think now the last thing you want to do when you're going against somebody who's hot is for you to walk somebody to pitch to that person. By being hot, his self esteem is higher than what he normally has. Why? Because you're going to walk somebody to face him. Since he's hot everything is going to go well, like (Friday) night. Did you see how he did (Friday) night? What we need to try to do is try to walk Holliday. I think in this game it doesn't matter how good you are, if they throw a pitch well I don't think you're going to hit a home run. Just because you're a strong hitter doesn't mean you're going to be in front of anybody. In this game the important thing is to try to throw the ball where it should be pitched and let fate do what it's going to do. If you have to walk Pujols, walk him. But I think right now we have to not just think of Pujols. We have to think of Holliday, too. I think we have to think that if we have to walk Pujols, we have to walk Holliday too."
"Pujols is such a dangerous hitter that you're always cautious of what he can do to you. There's certain situations that I think I would pitch to him because even as good as he is he's still making an out over half the time he's going out there. You never want to mess with him when he can really hurt you, but I think there are situations in the game where you take your chances. It's one thing if they didn't have anybody that was behind him that really scared you, but they have Holliday and they got Ludwick and DeRosa. They got guys back there that can really swing the bat well. Depending on the situation in the game you don't necessarily want to give (Holliday) any extra baserunners."
I see this going either way. Albert Pujols is the type of guy who ends a "slump" with one swing of the bat, and has routinely done exactly that against the Astros. If Pujols gets a big hit in an important spot against the Astros, we all lament, weep, and gnash our teeth. So I'm okay with walking Pujols at every opportunity, but it's hard to justify throwing anything worthwhile at a guy hitting .586 for the week.