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Albert Pujols two-homer game overshadows crazy resurgence down the stretch

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

Cardinals DH Albert Pujols has been on an incredible run since the start of July, outpacing everyone but Aaron Judge in OPS.

All of the sudden, Albert Pujols is within a realistic range of hitting the 700 home runs mark to complete his legendary career.

It helped having a two-home-run game on over the weekend against the Brewers on Sunday. That one got people talking.

But don’t get it twisted. Pujols is doing more than just chasing that career mark or putting up decent numbers for a 42-year-old. He’s actually been one of the best hitters in baseball for more than a month.

The NL leaderboard for best OPS since July 5th (min. 70 PA):

*1 – Albert Pujols (1.144)

2 – Austin Riley (1.112)

3 – Juan Soto (1.095)

4 – Kris Bryant (1.054)

*5 – Arenado (1.016)

6 – Freddie Freeman (1.007)

7 – Carson Kelly (.998)

*8 – Goldy (.981)

*9 – Noot (.973)#STLCards

— Brandon Kiley (@BKSportsTalk) August 15, 2022

Players with a higher OPS than Albert Pujols since July 6th:

Aaron Judge

That’s it.

— Cards Nation (@CardsNation13) August 16, 2022

Aaron Judge with his OPS of 1.376 since July 6 is the only player in the majors who outdoes Pujols with an OPS of 1.144. Pujols is outperforming the likes of Austin Riley, Juan Soto, Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado and Freddie Freeman in that category.

It’s incredible output for a player who continues to insist he will retire at the end of this season (he reiterate that to Benjamin Hochman on Monday), even though it’s becoming more and more clear he could go on if he wanted to after this year. If he can put together a run like this at 42 years old, it’s not so far fetched to imagine him producing at 43 as well.

When the Cardinals brought Pujols back for this final year, they probably didn’t imagine they’d be getting this version of the legendary player. He may not be playing at his ridiculous peak but he’s contributing in big ways.

He’s now just 11 home runs shy of 700 and continues to improve his career numbers against the odds.

Can he keep up this form? It’ll be worth watching St. Louis closely down the stretch.

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