This one was incredibly timely and important: it was the only run in a 1-0 game for the streaking Cardinals.
There is no way to say that Pujols, in his current role, isn’t contributing to the Cardinals’ postseason quest.
In Monday’s game, his home run was not a regular one.
He hit the pitch at the letters, considerably higher than the average MLB hitter would have liked it.
It didn’t matter for Pujols.
“This pitch was 4.23 ft above the ground, the 2nd-highest pitch hit for a HR in MLB this season and 3rd-highest since the start of last year it’s also the highest pitch he’s homered off of in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008),” MLB stats expert Sarah Langs tweeted.
this pitch was 4.23 ft above the ground, the 2nd-highest pitch hit for a HR in MLB this season and 3rd-highest since the start of last year
it's also the highest pitch he's homered off of in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008) https://t.co/rBkEjWMgNj
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) August 23, 2022
An Impressive Home Run
You know it was an impressive home run when you learn it’s the highest pitch Pujols has homered off of since at least 2008.
You can’t even blame the pitcher, Drew Smyly, because it was a ball, far from the strike zone.
It was Pujols’ 14th blast of the season, and the 693rd of his illustrious career.
He has an outside shot at becoming just the fourth MLB hitter to reach 700 career homers, as he has more than a month left of games.
It won’t be easy, though: the slugger rarely plays against right-handed pitchers these days because he is a liability against them.
To the contrary, he is a monster against lefties, and as a consequence, he is getting comfortably more than half of his plate appearances against them.
He has a .881 OPS under this arrangement, so things won’t change unless the Cards eventually secure a postseason spot.