Future Hall of Famer and former Dodgers DH Albert Pujols is back in St. Louis, where he spent the first eleven years of his career and amassed the vast majority of his Cooperstown résumé. After spending most of last season in Los Angeles after being released by Fake Los Angeles, Pujols re-signed with the Cardinals to play his 22nd and final season in the big leagues.
Pujols entered the season with 679 career home runs, giving him an outside shot at reaching 700, but he hit just six long balls in the first three-and-a-half months of the season.
Someone must have told him time was running out, though, because he has caught fire since late July.
Albert Pujols is hitting .415 since the All-Star break with five homers and 15 RBI in 41 at-bats. He has produced 6,133 total bases in his career, just one behind #STLCards great Stan Musial for 2nd place on the all-time list. Hank Aaron is the all-time leader with 6,856.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 18, 2022
After not starting the game on Thursday with Rockies righty Antonio Senzatela on the mound, Pujols pinch hit in the third inning with the Cardinals leading 6-0 and lefty Austin Gomber on the mound. On the second pitch he saw, Pujols deposited the ball into the crowd in left field for a grand slam, his 11th homer of the season and 690th of his career. He later added a single and drove in another run, finishing the day 2-for-3 with five RBIs.
Pujols’ OPS currently sits at .814, his best mark since 2012. After having a bounce-back season last year with the Dodgers where the “bounce-back” was represented by being almost a league-average hitter, Pujols is nearly 30 percent better than league average this season.
His chances of getting to 700 homers are still slim — he’d need 10 home runs in the Cardinals’ last 45 games after hitting 11 in their first 117 games — but it sure is nice to see the legendary Uncle Albert ending his career on a high note.
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