Key stat: Pujols gets 3 intentional walks

Miguel Cabrera taught Ron Washington a valuable lesson in the AL Championship Series: It's better to intentionally walk a dangerous hitter than to give up a game-changing hit.

So don't expect Albert Pujols to get anything to hit in a key situation for the rest of the World Series.

Washington gave Pujols three intentional passes in Game 5, including one in the seventh inning with the bases empty. In the process, Washington became the first manager in World Series history to intentionally walk a batter with the bases empty before the eighth inning.

Actually, only Atlanta's Bobby Cox in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series and St. Louis' Eddie Dyer in Game 5 of the 1946 World Series had ever issued four intentional walks in a game.

Each lost.

No worries, Washington's decisions worked out just fine.

And he can thank Cabrera for the strategy. Twice, the Rangers' pitching staff allowed hits to Cabrera in situations when they were supposed to pitch around him.

In a nail-biter, Washington didn't want to risk any mistake pitches to a hitter who became the third person in World Series history to hit three homers in one game a couple of days ago.