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Albert Pujols swiftly waking, hits walkoff homer to beat Cubs

Jun 4, 2011, 9:29 PM EDT

Albert Pujols AP

Whether caused by a hamstring injury, distractions related to his impending free agency, or simply the aging process, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols had a disappointing first two months.

He’s on a mission to make June, July, August, September and October far more fruitful.

Pujols finished 3-for-4 with four RBI in the Cardinals’ extra-innings defeat of the rival Cubs on Saturday afternoon in a muggy St. Louis. He ripped a two-run shot to right-center field in the fourth inning, an RBI double in the sixth inning and then played the hero in the 12th inning with his first walkoff home run of the season. It was the ninth game-ending homer of his career.

Pujols is now 10-for-23 with four home runs, nine RBI and nine runs scored since the Cardinals arrived home from a western road trip on Monday. His OPS rose from .761 to .807 on Saturday alone and has jumped over 70 points in the past 10 days. The slugger is still miles from his historically exceptional career offensive pace, but Pujols is capable of going on a tear that can last until autumn and is certainly showing signs of life.

The Cardinals are 10 games above .500 and sit alone atop the National League Central standings.

  1. rundmc81 - Jun 4, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Enjoy it while you can cardinal fans. he will be hitting bombs while calling wrigley home next year!! Enjoy Theroit!! We’ll take The Machine!!

    • spudchukar - Jun 4, 2011 at 9:57 PM

      I cannot guarantee that Albert will be playing home games in St. Louis next year, but what I do know is that he isn’t about to join the Cuckoo’s Nest that northern Chicago refers to as a baseball team. He is all about winning. You know that thing you haven’t done since 1908. Good luck in the draft Monday, if I were you I’d select a First Basemen. I’ll check in on it later in the day, long after you have selected.

    • paperlions - Jun 5, 2011 at 10:38 AM

      Based on the apparent financial condition of the Cubs, signing high-priced free-agents doesn’t appear to be on the immediate horizon for them. Like most (all?) new ownership situations, the Ricketts’ purchase of the Cubs was highly leveraged, the Cubs are one of the 9 teams not in compliance with the MLB debt rules. Considering the lack of talent on the MLB roster and the state of their farm system, I don’t see them being competitive enough in the near future to justify going all in on a long-term deal for Pujols.

  2. shawon0meter - Jun 4, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    If the Cubs do sign Pujols to that 10 year 300 million dollar deal, the Cardinals win again.

  3. fearlessleader - Jun 5, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    Drew, you inspired me:

    Thrilled to see No. 5 finding his power stroke again. Let’s hope it continues…..and continues in a Cardinal uniform!

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 5, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    If he stays even remotely hot for any stretch of time the Cards will walk away with the central. Hard to believe they are doing as well as they are w/o his numbers being there.

  5. jeffbbf - Jun 5, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Freakin’ Pujols. One of those guys you hate because you can’t find anything wrong with him except he just keeps beating the hell out of you. I was watching the game (Cubs fan) thinking…”don’t throw him a strike..don’t throw him a strike” so they throw him a crappy pitch and he hits it out. Cripes.

  6. rundmc81 - Jun 5, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Lack of talent? Castro, Barney, and Campana will be haunting the central for years to come.. We have numerous bums falling off the books during the next two years.. Rickets will have this squad moving in the right direction.. I just hope that direction includes moving Hendry to Canada

    • paperlions - Jun 5, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      Castro is very good.

      Barney is already 25, has a below league average OBP (he doesn’t walk at all), and he has no power. He’s a nice utility player or a below average starter, and because of his approach at the plate, there just isn’t any projection left in him.

      Campana is also already 25 and is only in the majors as a fill in because of injuries; there is nothing in his minor league numbers to suggest he’s a ML prospect. Low walk rate, high K-rate, no power (he doesn’t have a single career HR at any level of the minors).

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