It was a really scary day when Albert Pujols cringed and suddenly, on a rare occasion, stopped going after a foul ball — one that was easily catchable in any other situation. When AP doesn’t give it everything he’s got, it’s usually because he physically cannot. The cries of doom were heard everywhere. Not much mention has been made of the Cards or Albert since then.
Yet, here we are, still leading the Central, having lost the lead briefly to Cincinnati. As much as baseball is a team sport, it is very much individual as well. We make a bigger deal about someone hitting a lot of home runs than we do about a surprise team leading a division (of which, I might add, was every division in the NL for a day). So, when Albert went down, it was no surprise to me that we kept on hitting the ball. However, we kept getting hit too. The rotation’s ERA is down to ninth or tenth now because of the recent slide.
However, I believe that everything is just fine. We’ve been through rough patches before and made it out okay. Marquis pitched a gem tonight, allowing only a solo home run. Of all our pitchers, he’s the one I least expect to get his act together, but at least for tonight, he’s proven otherwise. Now, if only we can get the other three going again…
By the way, I’m taking bets on whether or not AP is still the leader in homers and RBI by the time he gets back. Currently, the lead is slim but he’s rumored to be back by the end of next week possibly. He’s apparently been taking ground balls at first with Chris Duncan but hasn’t swung a bat yet. I say two weeks, but I think Dunn will overtake him in homers by that time. We’ll see.