It completely blew me away last night how things played out...
La Russa's non-move last night is completely indefensible. What good is a plan that takes you to extra innings unless you actually get there? And on top of that...how many innings should one plan for: 10, 12, 19?
If you're always worried about the contingency of not having a pinch hitter, then you should never use your last hitter, because the pitcher's spot is always due to come up in a future inning. At some point, as a manager, you need to exhaust all of your best options. If the game goes past that point, then you have to live with the fact that a pitcher is going to have to take his cuts for the remainder of the contest.
Once Hudson drew the walk to load the bases, the tying and winning runs were in scoring position. With two outs, the next batter was going to have a great chance of ending the game; either making the final out for the AL win, or hitting a game-winner to send the Senior Circuit to their first victory in 10 years. The only opportunities for an extra-inning situation would be a walk or a base hit/error that gets knocked down in the infield.
So you let Pujols hit for Rowand, and play things out from there. If Pujols ties the game, you play the hand you've been dealt with Sanchez up next (as he would be the last possible batter in the 9th) and worry about how you realign the defense and the pitcher's batting spot due up third in the 10th inning.
The problem with playing the "What If" game happens when the "if" never comes:
"You don't save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain."
- Leo Durocher