Man, what a back-breaking ending to the Astros’ hopes of putting away their first pennant last night. That was, if possible, a tougher ending than the Notre Dame-USC game on Saturday, which is saying quite a lot. Roger Clemens, sitting in the Houston dugout, had a distinct “I’ve seen this movie before and I don’t like how it ends” look on his face. The home run itself was as impressive as its context, like George Brett’s homer off Goose Gossage in 1980; that’s what happens when a guy as strong as Pujols makes soldi contact off a guy who throws as hard as Brad Lidge.
Pujols is one of those guys you have to take in while he’s in his prime, because we’ll be telling stories about this one for years. As I noted after last season, baseball-reference.com not only says that the most similar player at the same age is Joe DiMaggio, but that the most similar player at the same age to Joe D is Pujols. That’s amazing. In fact, Pujols is a better hitter, if you adjust for the fact that the late-30s AL was even higher scoring than today . . . DiMaggio was still better because of his glove, though; in fact, a good modern analogy for DiMaggio is a guy who hits like Pujols and plays center field like Andruw Jones.
(By the way, I noticed that George and Barbara Bush stayed through the bitter end again last night at Minute Maid, like Giuliani at Yankee Stadium. One of the benefits of being a retired politician is you get to stay for the whole game.)

17 thoughts on “Pujols-ed”

  1. Yeah, that was a tough one. One guy in the ballpark I didn’t want at bat. I knew when Eckstein dribbled that through the infield that it was a really bad sign with Lidge’s wildness of late. I’d say even with the starting pitching for the Astros it is even money whether they advance. Need lots of Os from Oswalt.

  2. Ugh. And I missed it too. Unlike George and Barbara, I left the game (changed channel) at 11:30 while Lidge was in the process of blowing away the second out. My tivo is broken and only has one functioning tuner and it was screaming at me to change the channnel to tape the debut of “The Colbert Reprt”. Sadly, I obliged it.
    I went back 10-15 minutes later and wondered what the hell happened…

  3. Last night was tough on the remote control. Between the Cards comeback down 2 with 2 outs in the ninth and the Colts coming back from being down 17 to zip it was a great night all in all.

  4. There was a base open, why not load the bases to pitch to Reggie Sanders who was 1-4 for the night to that point. Why take a chance with a man in scoring position against a possible MVP of the NL when you can pitch to Sanders who just came back from a spill? It’s not like Manny Ramirez is battign behind pujols.

  5. We have seen the movie before
    Nolan Ryan in 1980 against philli
    1986 against the Mets
    Mike Scott’s no hitter

  6. Son of Brock–
    Reggie has been on a pretty good roll recently. He’s almost as big a threat as Pujols to hit a dinger. Also, imagine loading the bases and then walking in The Run That Cost the Astros the World Series.
    No, I think Garner handled it the right way. Lidge is human. Pujols, however, is superhuman.

  7. Albert Pujols equated his mammoth game-deciding homer’s effect on the Houston crowd to a couch potato punching the mute button. The Cardinals have come to expect such nonchalance from Pujols, a star almost from his first day in the major leagues five seasons ago. Pujols is among the leading MVP candidates this year after finishing second in batting (.330) while hitting 41 homers and driving in 117 runs and leading the majors with 129 runs.
    read more about sports at: Sports Buzz

  8. How about a little love for Eckstein? If he doesn’t battle for the seeing-eye grounder, Pujols never gets the chance.
    You’re right, though, seeing Pujols play, especially in person is awe inspiring.

  9. I’m a huge cardinal fan and I’m hoping this catapaults us to the World Series. With that being said, if you took both teams, played them in a sandlot with no fans, the’d play the game the same way and probably have a few beers with each other afterwards.

  10. I’m a forever astros fan and a huge fan of the game…that being said….
    Forget Ortiz, Ramirez, A-rod (?)…Pujols is the best hitter in the game. Lidge is the best closer and they were both just doin’ what they do – unfortunately Pujols won this one. My beef is with Edmonds. He knew full well that after that kindergarten temper tantrum he threw on Sunday that there was no way the ump was going to call anything close, so he just stood there and took his walk like the chickens**t he is…

  11. Welcome to the couch, now vent

    This is not exactly Brad Lidge day. Or, Phil Garner day. From all over, fans are weighing in on the un-be-lieve-a-ble ending Monday night. It seems nothing or no one is safe from long-time, angry and frustrated Astros fans. When…

  12. My beef is with Edmonds. He knew full well that after that kindergarten temper tantrum he threw on Sunday that there was no way the ump was going to call anything close, so he just stood there and took his walk like the chickens**t he is…
    Yes, it’s really cowardly to decline to swing at borderline pitches when you’re the tying run with two men out in the ninth and the best hitter in baseball is on deck.
    I know it was a rough loss, but try to have a little dignity, man.

  13. to hear some people tell it, pujols hits .478 with 96 home runs every year and the cards never lose as long as he’s around. superhuman and awe inspiring? guess that makes willie mays the almighty himself.

  14. It’s a little too late for me to really bother with this (ASTROS!!! NL CHAMPS!!!) but I will anyway.
    Pujols did what he was supposed to do. I have an intense personal dislike for Jim Edmonds, but he needed to get Pujols to bat and Lidge allowed him to do so. And Eckstien might be annoying, but he’s “scrappy” and people like that.
    I want to know what Ensburg was doing playing on the grass with two strikes. If he’s a step back he fields that liner and it’s game over. But no. He’s up on the grass guarding against the bunt. Guarding against the bunt iwth two strikes and two outs in St. Louis’ last at bat of the year. GAH! It just frustrated me.

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