Are we witnessing the best stretch of Albert Pujols’ career?
The last 10 games for Pujols represent a historic pace, even for No. 5.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - What Albert Pujols is doing for the Cardinals right now is nothing short of remarkable. But at age 42, do these near-nightly fireworks shows on display by the future Hall of Famer represent the best stretch of his historic MLB career?
For all the amazing things Albert has done on a baseball diamond since his big-league debut in the 2001 season, the notion isn’t as far-fetched as you might think.
Over the past 10 games in which he has actively participated for St. Louis, Pujols has compiled a 1.834 OPS while launching seven home runs and 14 RBIs. In those 10 games, the Cardinals have felt the jolt provided by Pujols, with the team winning nine times out of the 10.
In the midst of that span, Pujols won National League Co-Player of the Week honors for the week of August 15, alongside his Cardinals teammate Paul Goldschmidt.
Though there have been a number of 10-game stretches in his career where Pujols logged at least seven home runs and 14 RBIs, none of those instances featured an OPS as high as the one Pujols just put together from August 10 to August 22, 2022. Another incredible wrinkle to the achievement is how efficient Pujols has been within that 10-game stretch compared to other such stretches of his career.
Of the previous instances in which Albert has launched seven home runs in 10 games, the fewest number of plate appearances required to do it was 39. This time, Pujols has racked up those seven homers across just 33 plate appearances in the last 10 games.
Pujols is simply hitting everything hard these days; even a second-inning single off the left field wall on Monday night at Wrigley Field was struck with an exit velocity of 106.1 mph. Home run No. 693 arrived later in Monday’s game, with Pujols taking a page out of the elder Vladimir Guerrero’s playbook, and homering on a pitch that was several inches above the top of the strike zone.
The home run off of Cubs lefty Drew Smyly marked the 449th different pitcher against whom Pujols has gone deep in the big leagues, a mark that ties Barry Bonds for the most in MLB history. Pujols trails Alex Rodriguez by just three home runs for fourth place on the MLB all-time list and needs just seven more to reach the historic plateau of 700.
If his next 10 games are anything like his last 10—with a ridiculous seven home runs in the span—Albert might just get to 700 by the first week of September.
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