well, we've passed an important threshold: albert's list of accomplishments this season is now longer than the list of things he hasn't accomplished. the latter has dwindled to:
- hit for the cycle
- unassisted triple play
- four-homer game
- call his shot
- hit one for a dying kid and induce a miraculous recovery
he's putting on the greatest one-man show since this classic performance from 1946 -- just as entertaining, and nearly as improbable. the man turns the game into a farce.
i repeat what i said after albert's game-reversing walkoff against cincinnati back on april 16: you can beat the cardinals this year, but you still can't beat pujols.
he has nearly as many homers (17) as all his teammates combined (19). if he'd hit as many homers as the average (median) major-league 1st baseman -- 5 -- the cardinals would have 24 on the year, next to last among the national league clubs. his slugging avg (.821) is more than twice the combined average of the other 7 starters (.364). his rbi total --
need i go on?
from a purely clinical standpoint, it will be fascinating to see how far he can haul this team before he collapses from sheer exhaustion. i am picturing now one of those "world's strongest man" exercises from espn2 --
early start time today, and first place back within reach. suppan goes -- he threw 119 pitches in his last start, his highest total in nearly two years, and has surpassed 100 pitches in three of six starts. he also has turned in four "quality" starts in six outings; set aside his april 18 debacle vs the pirates and supps has a 2.51 era. it has gone little noticed, but he (like mulder last week) is closing in on 100 career wins; he stands at 97. and carp is now at 88, which puts triple digits well within reach in 2006 (he needs to get his season win total to 15). gritty performance by him last night, btw.
and let's credit la russa for sending encarnacion up there to pinch-hit for j-rod against jose mesa. we mock many of the guy's moves (and rightly so), but this one had a sound basis (j'cion was a career 9 for 14 vs mesa heading into the at-bat) and it sure worked out. nice going, tony.