Saturday, July 16, 2011
Pujols reaches 20 HR, yet again
Albert Pujols hit his 428th career home run in the Cardinals' 4-1 win against the Reds. With it, he passed Mike Piazza for 41st on the all-time home run list.
The long ball also happened to be Pujols' 20th of the season. He's the third player in MLB history to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first 11 seasons, joining Eddie Mathews (14) and Frank Robinson (12).
As Pujols continued to stay hot at the plate (he has three home runs in his last four games), teammate Chris Carpenter continued to put behind him what was a rocky start to the season.
Carpenter won his fourth straight decision (in five starts), posting a 1.66 ERA in that span, a stretch only more noteworthy considering his 1-7 mark in 15 starts to begin the season.
Pujols wasn’t the only player on Saturday to hit his 20th home run.
In the Florida Marlins' 13-3 win against the Chicago Cubs, Mike Stanton hit home runs No. 19 and 20 to become the 11th player this season to reach 20 home runs.
Stanton is one of five players this season with at least 20 home runs and only one multi-HR game. The others: Matt Kemp, Prince Fielder, Jay Bruce and Nelson Cruz.
Stanton has an average home run distance of 414 feet this season (league average is 395.1 feet) and all but three of his 2011 homers have traveled at least 400 feet.
NOTES FROM THE MOUND
• As a member of the New York Yankees, CC Sabathia (8 IP, ER) is 4-0 in four starts against the Toronto Blue Jays. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Sabathia is the second pitcher in franchise history with at least five straight starts of at least 7 innings and one or fewer runs allowed. Steve Kline had six such straight starts in 1972.
Sabathia threw 27 sliders and the Blue Jays swung at 18, missing 10. Hitters were 1-for-11 in at-bats ending with Sabathia's slider, including six strikeouts. He also got the Blue Jays to swing at 10 of 16 sliders out of the strike zone, resulting in four of the strikeouts.
• Elsewhere, Cole Hamels’ struggles against the New York Mets continued. Hamels is just 3-10 in his career against New York and his ERA is nearly a run-and-a-half higher than against the rest of the NL East.
Hamels entered with a 1.54 ERA in his previous 9 starts, but allowed a season-high 7 runs.