Don’t look now, but Albert Pujols is heating up

by on April 21, 2011 · 0 comments

Remember NBA Jam?  Whenever a player got going, put together a streak of baskets, was getting hot… you know where I’m going here.

The game would spit out its famous line “HE’S HEATING UP!!!”

Well, somewhat quietly, Albert Pujols has begun to (if not already has) put the opening slump of his 2011 season behind him starting, and coupled, with the offensive outburst the Cardinals had in Arizona.

Let’s take a look at Albert’s game log for 2011, and see if you can see the difference of late:

Date Tm Opp AB R H 2B HR RBI BB SO SF GDP BA OBP SLG OPS
Mar 31 STL SDP 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000
Apr 2 STL SDP 4 1 2 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 .222 .222 .556 .778
Apr 3 STL SDP 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .154 .154 .385 .538
Apr 4 STL PIT 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .125 .176 .313 .489
Apr 5 STL PIT 2 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 .167 .238 .333 .571
Apr 6 STL PIT 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .182 .240 .318 .558
Apr 8 STL @ SFG 6 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 .179 .226 .286 .512
Apr 9 STL @ SFG 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 .167 .257 .267 .524
Apr 10 STL @ SFG 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .143 .225 .229 .454
Apr 11 STL @ ARI 5 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 .150 .222 .225 .447
Apr 12 STL @ ARI 5 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .200 .260 .267 .527
Apr 13 STL @ ARI 3 3 2 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 .229 .296 .313 .609
Apr 14 STL @ LAD 5 2 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 .226 .288 .358 .647
Apr 15 STL @ LAD 5 2 2 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 .241 .297 .466 .762
Apr 16 STL @ LAD 5 2 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .254 .304 .460 .765
Apr 17 STL @ LAD 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .239 .288 .433 .721
Apr 20 (1) STL WSN 4 1 2 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 .254 .308 .479 .787
Apr 20 (2) STL WSN 3 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .243 .305 .459 .764
STL 74 14 18 1 5 12 7 8 1 7 .243 .305 .459 .764
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/21/2011.

—–

More specifically, Pujols’ first nine games (from the San Diego through the San Francisco series) resulted in a un-Pujols-like slash line of .143/.225/.229 – including hitting into six double-plays.

The last nine games for Pujols (the Arizona series through yesterday’s double-dip with Washington)?  A decidedly more-Pujols-like .333/.381/.667 – including four home runs and only one double-play.

It seems safe to assume that it’s no coincidence then that the Cards were 3-6 in those first nine games and 6-3 since.  This team runs on Pujols.

He’s taken a walk today and grounded into a double-play that was really a nifty play by Ian Desmond to get it started, but suffice it to say, worries about Pujols at the plate have quickly faded into the background of boos directed at Ryan Franklin (dangit, I just couldn’t let it go).

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Writing about the Cardinals and other loosely associated topics since 2008, I've grown tired of the April run-out only to disappoint Cardinal fans everywhere by mid-May. I do not believe in surrendering free outs.
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