Pujols’ first hit since rejoining the Cardinals was—of course—a home run at Busch Stadium
Pujols tagged Royals’ starter Daniel Lynch for a solo blast in the first inning Tuesday, going back-to-back with Nolan Arenado.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The crowd at Busch Stadium hardly had a chance to sit back down following the celebration of another Nolan Arenado home run when Albert Pujols did the thing that everyone in Cardinals Nation had eagerly anticipated since the moment his return to St. Louis was announced.
Facing Royals’ pitcher Daniel Lynch, Pujols jumped on a first-pitch fastball and rode it into the left-field stands for his first home run as a Cardinal at Busch Stadium in 3,855 days.
But who’s counting?
In true Pujolsian fashion, the long ball was also his first hit since rejoining the Cardinals on a one-year contract for the swan song of his illustrious MLB career. Pujols reached base on errors in his Opening Day start, but hadn’t yet earned a hit. Well, he earned every inch of Tuesday’s blast, dropping a towering blast about five rows deep into the left-field stands.
The subsequent celebration with Yadier Molina and the curtain call for the Busch Stadium fans was a sight to behold.
The home run came against a left-handed pitcher, which is a trend to monitor for Pujols at this stage of his career. Though he started as the designated hitter on Opening Day against a righty due to the magnitude of that moment for the fans and his teammates, he sat the bench for the next two contests with RHPs on the mound for Pittsburgh. Expect to see Pujols in the lineup any time the Cardinals face a lefty, as he mashed left-handed pitching last season for a .294 average, .939 OPS and 13 home runs in only 146 plate appearances.
Isolating Pujols primarily against lefties seems to be the way the Cardinals hope to see him perform as his vintage self in 2022—and the early returns on that experiment are certainly encouraging after Albert’s latest memorable Cardinals moment Tuesday night.
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