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La Russa: Noise led to wrong pitcher

Oct. 25, 2011 at 6:56 PM   |   Comments

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ARLINGTON, Texas, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa says a bullpen miscommunication resulted in his inability to use closer Jason Motte in Game 5 of the World Series.

La Russa told reporters Monday crowd noise prevented the Cardinals' bullpen coach from understanding his order to warm up Motte in the eighth inning as the Rangers were mounting a rally that ultimately resulted in Monday's 4-2 Texas victory for a 3-2 World Series lead.

Instead, reliever Lance Lynn -- who wasn't scheduled to pitch Monday -- was warmed up, forcing La Russa to leave left-handed setup man Marc Rzepczynski in the game to face the hot right-handed Texas hitter Mike Napoli.

Napoli proceeded to bash a tiebreaking double, sealing the Rangers' victory.

"They heard 'Rzepczynski' and they didn't hear 'Motte,' and when I looked up there, Motte wasn't going," La Russa told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"(Later) I called back and said 'Motte,' and they heard 'Lynn.' So I went out there, wrong guy. (Lynn) is not going to pitch today. ... That's why -- it must be loud. I give the fans credit."

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