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Tag Archives: Albert Pujols

Five Big Free Agents and Where They Land

Prince Fielder – Milwaukee Brewers
Where he goes: Chicago Cubs
In the hunt: NY Yankees, Milwaukee, Washington

Fielder’s market is pretty wide open with Milwaukee seemingly unable to afford Fielder.

The Brewers must hope co-star Ryan Braun can convince the power-hitter first baseman that there is unfinished business left to be done in Milwaukee and they need each other to succeed. But it’s going to be tough with the Yankees always looking to make their offense seem invincible and the Cubs new GM Theo Epstein looking to get his hands on a top free agent.

I think a Wild Card team in this hunt will be Washington. The Nats shocked the baseball world when they overpaid for Jayson Werth last off season. With the right corps of players along with a handful of stars, they could convince Fielder that baseball’s new dynasty could very well be in the nation’s capitol.

Fielder is the absolute perfect move for Epstein to make. He is not under pressure to make a big move right away but he would be foolish to pass up on a top tier athlete like Fielder.

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Albert Pujols Wants All Your Money

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols watches a solo homer in the 9th, his 3rd of the game, leave the park in Game 3 of the World Series on October 22, 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Bring it by the truck loads.

Whatever team wins the Albert Pujols sweepstakes this offseason, they are going to need a lot of cash to do it.

Pujols is looking at potentially his last big paycheck, one that will not only be the largest of his life but quite possibly the biggest in the history of baseball.

It has become almost a signature to see Pujols standing in the batter’s box, holding his bat in his left hand like a small twig; his hulking glare watching another baseball travel to an undiscovered solar system. And from Brad Lidge in 2005 all the way to last night’s mash-fest, Pujols has continued to do it in the most fitting of times.

Pujols made history. He did something that only Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson have done in baseball: hit three home runs in a World Series game. But that historical feat was only a microcosm of Pujols ridiculous career.

For the past decade, Pujols has been the most dominant player in baseball. And his name is so synonymous with baseball that when you type in the name “Albert” in Google, only Einstein’s name stands higher in the auto-fill.

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The stage is set: Cardinals to face Rangers in World Series

One team has unfinished business to settle.

The other has destiny on it’s side.

On Wednesday, those two teams will meet in the 2011 Fall Classic. The St. Louis Cardinals, who capped off a miraculous September run to steal the Wild Card from the Atlanta Braves. They will host the Texas Rangers, who are playing in their second straight World Series.

St. Louis is the first Wild Card team since the 2006 Detroit Tigers to have home field advantage in the World Series. The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the last Wild Card team to host the World Series and win it. The latter knows a little bit about miracles, especially when the comeback against the New York Yankees in the ALCS and the end of an 86-year curse were complete with a sweeping of the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

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Howard will get surgery; What does this mean for Phils?

Phils Ryan Howard stumbles after injuring his left foot leaving the batter's box. He has a torn Achilles and will have surgery (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Ryan Howard felt it as soon as he attempted to leave the batter’s box.

The sharp pain running through his body wasn’t just the end of the Phillies season dribbling to Cardinals second baseman Nick Punto. It was the pop Howard felt in his left foot that dropped Howard halfway down the first base line, leaving him in some of the worst pain during his 8-year career.

The injury was a tear to his left Achilles and it could potentially leave Howard out of the Phillies line up at least until May or June. He will have surgery this off season once the swelling goes down and there is, “no guarantee he will be ready for Spring Training.”

If the Phillies in fact lose Howard for a very long time, there needs to be some serious thought towards filling the 35+ homers and 120+ RBIs that Howard is good for every season.

There will come a handful of times where the Phils will need production from the four-spot in a late-game situation. Howard has provided that spark a handful of times during his career.

So how do you replace that? Howard’s time off could last only a couple months, making the Phillies decision a less drastic one. But there are also risks of set-backs.

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Cardinals show resilience; take Game 2

Cardinals RF Allen Craig triples to lead off the 7th. He scored on Albert Pujols' base hit, representing the winning run. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Perhaps, Cliff Lee was left in a bit too long.

The 7th inning aside, Lee was slowly losing his early lead due to being overly comfortable. And as resilient as they showed in the final month of the regular season, the Cards chipped away, stealing Game 2 from the Phillies with a 5-4 win.

The Phils started out with a 4-0 lead after two innings but through the course of the game, the Cardinals slowly erased the deficit until the 7th inning with the game tied 4-4.

Charle Manuel arguably left in Lee too long, who allowed 10 hits and threw 101 pitches through the first six innings. He gave up a lead-off triple to Allen Craig. Albert Pujols drove him in on a base hit to make it a 5-4 Cardinals lead. After a Lance Berkman single, Lee’s night was done.

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NLDS Preview: Phillies vs St. Louis Cardinals

Philadelphia: 102-60; 1st in NL East
St. Louis: 90-72; 2nd in NL Central (Wild Card winner)

Game 1: Oct. 1, 5:07 PM – (Roy Halladay vs Kyle Lohse)
Game 2: Oct. 2, 8:07 PM (Cliff Lee vs Chris Carpenter)
Game 3: Oct. 4, _ PM (Cole Hamels vs Edwin Jackson)
Game 4*: Oct. 5, _ PM (TBD vs Jaime Garcia)
Game 5*: Oct. 7, _ PM (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
PHI: The Phils cruised to their easiest of five straight NL East titles with their second straight 100-win season. Though the road got a little bumpy in the beginning of the season with a slumping outfield as well as towards the end of the season when they went on an eight-game skid after clinching homefield, the Phillies season was filled with dominance. Their consistently dominant play has given fans in Philadelphia reason to expect another parade down Broad Street.

STL: The Cardinals’ road was a lot bumpier, and in the long run, more exhausting. On August 25, they trailed the Braves by 10 1/2 games in the NL Wild Card race. Since then, they’ve gone 23-9, while Atlanta went 11-20, completing one of the biggest comebacks in baseball history. The Cardinals may be incredibly hot riding into Saturday’s Game 1. But is momentum as big as it sounds or will they hit a brick wall in Philadelphia?

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The Hangover: Phils shut out 24 hours after clinch

Step one was completed last night: winning the division. Good thing step two doesn’t start for another two weeks.

The Phils, who get a free pass for being hungover the night before, were shut out by the Cardinals, 5-0, on Sunday Night Baseball.

Cole Hamels was rocked for a pair of two-run homers, the first to Albert Pujols in the 1st inning and to Allen Craig in the 6th. Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter pitched eight shut out innings and struck out five in the win.

WP: Carpenter (10-9). LP: Hamels (14-9).


Series Preview: at St. Louis Cardinals

PHI: 45-28, 1st in NL East; STL: 40-33, 1st in NL Central

When: June 21-23
Where: Busch Stadium (St. Louis, MO)

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday: Roy Halladay (9-3, 2.56) vs Kyle McClellan (6-3, 3.96)
Wednesday: Cliff Lee (7-5, 3.12) vs Kyle Lohse (7-3, 2.88)
Thursday: Roy Oswalt (4-5, 3.38) vs Chris Carpenter (1-7, 4.47)

Broadcast Info
Tuesday, 8:15, PHL 17
Wednesday, 8:15, CSN
Thursday, 8:15, PHL 17
All Games on 1210 AM

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Phillies fail to score for Cliff Lee. Again.

Same song, different verse.

For the sixth straight time, the Phillies failed to give Cliff Lee the run support he needed as they fell to the Cardinals 3-1. Cliff Lee is now winless in his sixth straight start, and the Phillies have now lost a season high three straight games.

The feeble Phillies lineup, that included Wilson Valdez batting second and Raul Ibanez batting third, mustered just one run on four hits off Jake Westbrook. To put it in perspective, two of those hits came from the same player (Jimmy Rollins), and one came from Lee. Going into the game Westbrook had an ERA of 6.20, but the Phillies made him look like the 2012 NL Cy Young award winner.

The other hit came gave the Phils the early 1-0 lead as Ben Francisco hit a RBI single to left that scored John Mayberry Jr. from second. It was the first run the Phillies had scored while Cliff Lee was pitching since April 14th. Pete Orr prevented the Phils from scoring any more runs in the inning by grounding into a fielder’s choice and then getting picked off at first.

The Cardinals would tie it up in the bottom of the fourth inning on a line drive RBI single by Nick Punto that scored Matt Holiday from third. The Cards would take the lead on another line drive single to right field, this time by Ryan Theriot. Lance Berkman scored, but Yadier Molina was called out at home on a great play by Chooch to end the inning.

Both Holiday and Berkman, who scored the two runs in the inning, were walked back to back by Cliff Lee. Lee was very un-Lee like, walking six batters in the game. Going into tonight’s game he had walked just seven batters, but tonight’s six walks was a career high for Lee. Before tonight, Lee’s strikeout to walk ratio was 9:1, but his ratio tonight was 4:6. His inability to find home plate umpire Gerry Davis’ strike zone not only put runners on base, but drove Lee’s pitch count up to 122 and forced him out of the game with one out in the seventh inning despite allowing just three runs.

The Cardinals tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on Jon Jay’s line drive single to center that scored Punto and ended Lee’s night. Michael Stutes relived Lee and forced Albert Pujols into a double play to end the inning and prevent any further damage.

The Phillies conclude their series at St Louis tomorrow at 8:15 with Roy Oswalt making his first start since coming off the DL.

2B: Rollins (8)

WP: Westbrook (3-3)  LP: Lee (2-4)  S: Salas (4)

Series Preview: at St. Louis Cardinals

PHI: 25-14, 1st in NL East; STL: 22-19, 2nd in NL Central

When: May 16-17
Where: Busch Stadium (St. Louis, MO)

Probable Pitchers
Monday: Cliff Lee (2-2, 3.78) vs Jake Westbrook (2-3, 6.92)
Tuesday: Roy Oswalt (3-1, 3.33) vs. Jaime Garcia (5-1, 1.89)

Broadcast Info
Monday, 7:05, CSN
Tuesday, 8:15, PHL 17
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