clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

St. Louis Cardinals 11 at Los Angeles Dodgers 2: Albert Pujols Slump-Watch

New, comments

The St. Louis Cardinals are now averaging 5.6 runs per game. This is how April problems work, sometimes; through eight games they'd yet to reach five runs once, and since then they've averaged (incoming ridiculous number) 9.8 runs per game. 9.8! 

Meanwhile, Albert Pujols is now hitting .241/.297/.466. That .763 OPS means we can officially stop talking about 2007 for a while, but for old-time's sake here's a list of Albert Pujols's numbers through 14 games during his career to date. Be sure to put your protective goggles on before you look at that 2006 line. (Next to his line for each year I've added his total batting runs for that season.)

  1. 2006: 1.543 (.362/.500/1.043) [62]
  2. 2008: 1.184 (.378/.517/.667) [69]
  3. 2004: 1.160 (.302/.424/.736) [64]
  4. 2001: 1.144 (.400/.444/.700) [53]
  5. 2010: 1.121 (.321/.424/.696) [64]
  6. 2009: 1.039 (.294/.431/.608) [70]
  7. 2003: 1.031 (.362/.456/.574) [82]
  8. 2002: .989 (.315/.415/.574) [45]
  9. 2005: .934 (.298/.355/.579) [59]
  10. 2011: .763 (.241/.297/.466)
  11. 2007: .756 (.200/.302/.455) [52]

The main thing I got out of this exercise is that Pujols is not what you could call a slow starter, as a rule. It's hard to discern a season-long pattern from his usual starts, but in 2007 and now 2011 he's begun in a deep-enough hole that I don't think his relatively human start to 2005 can be used as a representative example. 

If Thursday's home run still had a little residual slump-feel on it—it wasn't a classic Albert Pujols swing so much as an example of his absurd strength—the two he hit Friday were prototypical Pujols home runs, right down to the pitcher-infuriating stare before he started for first base. Now we can begin worrying about his contract, instead of his hitting!