When the season began, the chase was on for 700 home runs.
After starting hot in April, the 42-year-old began to cool down.
In fact, following the team’s 6-3 loss on July 4 to the Atlanta Braves, Pujols’ average had dipped to .189.
He had posted a poor .282 on-base percentage and a .320 slugging percentage.
But on July 6, the veteran slugger and three-time MVP turned a corner, picking up two hits off of Max Fried.
From there, Pujols didn’t slow down, reaching 700 home runs and hitting for a .324 average with a .388 OBP and .703 slugging percentage.
Albert Pujols this year through the 4th of July:
142 PAs —> .189 AVG, .282 OBP, .320 SLG 😐
Albert Pujols this year after the 4th of July:
209 PAs —> .324 AVG, .388 OBP, .703 SLG 😮pic.twitter.com/lyS7X39nGQ
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 22, 2022
Pujols’ Second-Half Surge
In truth, it appears that the Fourth of July holiday is what helped Pujols change his fortunes.
After that game, his average was the lowest it had been throughout the season.
Pujols ended up finishing the season with a .270 average, 24 home runs, 68 RBI, and an .895 OPS.
The two-time World Series champion and 11-time All-Star was so hot in fact, that manager Oliver Marmol had moved him up to second in the batting order, even against right-handed pitchers.
And in his final season, Pujols earned the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award.
But in between him grounding out to end the game on July 4 to picking up two hits a few nights later, Pujols’ fortunes changed.
An adjustment was made that got the future Hall-of-Famer back on track for the home stretch of the 2022 season.
While the Cardinals season ended in disappointment, Pujols’ career was nothing short of legendary, and because of his second-half surge, he can walk away with his head held high.