Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pujols Back on Track

For anyone who has been paying attention to baseball this season, it has been easy to tell that Albert Pujols has not been playing up to his normal standards.  Before this weekend's series against Chicago, Pujols was hitting .265 (he has a career average of .329) with only nine homers (eight behind NL leader Jay Bruce), and only six doubles.  His slugging percentage of .412 was more than 200 points lower than his career average (.617).  Two months into the 2011 season and the best player in baseball hadn't regained his form.

There's nothing like playing the lowly Cubs.  Pujols has always been good against the Cubs, hitting .297 (before Saturday's game) with 48 homers against them in his career (the most against any opponent).  This weekend has been no different.  In two games Pujols is 4-7 with three homers, one double and six RBIs.  On Friday night he hit a two-run homer and on Saturday afternoon he hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning, an RBI-double in the sixth and a walk-off homer in the twelfth.  He raised his average to .275 and his slugging percentage climbed to .459.

With one more game against the Cubs, Pujols has another good chance to continue his upward swing.  It's good for baseball when Pujols is performing normally (which is basically him being perpetually on fire), so hopefully this weekend means that he is back on track.

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