August 25, 2010

Albert Pujols on the Verge of 400

I seem to be writing plenty about Albert Pujols lately.

And no…I haven’t become an overnight Cardinals fan.

I also haven’t been swayed by the recent love shown to me by the famous (infamous?) St. Louis Cardinals Sign Guy (check out his tweets HERE, HERE or HERE).

What has been making me take notice is “Phat Albert’s” pursuit of baseball immortality.

Recently, the first baseman
extended his own streak by becoming the only player in Major League history to begin his career with ten straight seasons of 30 or more home runs.

Likewise, sitting at 96 for the season, Pujols is a few RBI shy of becoming the only cat to have started his career with 30 or more home runs and 100 RBI as well. Incidentally, he'll also become the only player to have ever belted 30 home runs and knocked in 100 in ten straight years.

Ever.

Currently with 399 career bombs and at just 30 years (and a hair over seven months) old…only Alex Rodriguez (29 years and ten months) and Ken Griffey Jr. (30 years and five months) have reached the same home run plateau as Pujols.

So here’s who stands in the way of the Cardinals slugger becoming the third youngest player to reach 400 homers. And, yeah, before you read on…the odds of Pujols going into some pre-600 home run slump a la Alex Rodriguez is pretty slim.

Wednesday, the Cardinals finish up their series against the Pirates. On the bump for Pittsburgh…Daniel McCutchen. For his career, “The Machine” has two hits (including one home run) in three at bats against the young righty.

With Stephen Strasburg back on the DL for Washington, the Nationals are bound to turn to Jordan Zimmermann when they open up against the Red Birds on Thursday.

And if Pujols doesn’t take McCutchen deep Wednesday…he’ll surely round the bases against the 24 year-old Zimmermann. In three plate appearances last year against the right-hander…the three-time National League MVP was three for three with a home run.

After that, the Cardinals head into the weekend against hurlers Scott Olsen and Livan Hernandez. Combined, Pujols has gone 16 for 50 against the pair with five homers.

So with Pujols on the verge of hitting number 400, it looks to be just a matter of hours before he becomes just the 47th player all-time (and
the second this season) to reach 400 home runs for his young career.

Is it too soon to start designing his plaque for Cooperstown?


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