The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Pujols the on-base machine

As Albert Pujols stroked a two-out single to left field in the first inning Wednesday evening and fisted an up-and-in offering to left for a ground-rule double in the sixth, the all-world first baseman extended his current streak of games in which he reached base at least twice to 14 and counting.

Pujols’ streak is now the third-longest in St. Louis Cardinals history since 1954. He trails only Stan Musial, who had 16 such consecutive games in 1958 and Keith Hernandez with 15 in 1980.

Note: The following table does not include Wednesday’s results.

Streak – on base two or more times in game (1954-2009)

Start End G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BB BA OBP SLG
Stan Musial 4/17/1958 5/7/1958 16 63 14 35 10 0 4 14 4 11 0.556 0.613 0.905
Keith Hernandez 9/12/1980 9/26/1980 15 53 13 21 5 1 1 9 7 17 0.396 0.543 0.585
Albert Pujols 5/20/2009 6/2/2009 13 36 8 15 4 0 3 8 6 19 0.417 0.607 0.778
Jim Edmonds 4/27/2000 5/10/2000 13 41 14 20 3 0 4 9 11 14 0.488 0.607 0.854
Ray Lankford 4/19/1994 5/4/1994 12 43 16 16 3 1 5 9 15 13 0.372 0.534 0.837
Lou Brock 9/1/1967 9/12/1967 12 49 17 19 1 2 4 11 6 9 0.388 0.483 0.735

Pujols has had some “help” getting on base as opposing pitchers are putting him on first base more and more often as opposed to pitching to him. In fact, early on in his on-base streak, Pujols had a streak within a streak, having gone four consecutive games with at least two walks.

As the table below depicts, current FOX Sports Midwest commentator Jack Clark holds the post-1954 Cardinals record with seven, followed by the late Darrell Porter with five.

Streak – walked at least twice in game (1954-2009)

Start End G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO BB
Jack Clark 7/8/1987 7/16/1987 7 18 5 6 0 0 2 7 8 17
Darrell Porter 4/15/1981 4/22/1981 5 12 2 2 1 0 1 2 4 10
Albert Pujols 5/22/2009 5/25/2009 4 8 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 9
Jim Edmonds 8/1/2004 8/5/2004 4 10 4 4 1 0 2 5 5 9
Mark McGwire 10/2/1999 4/7/2000 4 5 6 2 0 0 2 2 2 10
Mark McGwire 8/29/1999 9/1/1999 4 12 3 2 0 0 1 1 3 8
Ray Lankford 9/15/1997 9/18/1997 4 12 5 2 0 0 2 5 5 10
Ozzie Smith 6/3/1990 6/6/1990 4 10 3 2 0 0 0 3 2 9
Jack Clark 8/2/1987 8/10/1987 4 11 3 1 0 0 1 3 6 8
Jack Clark 7/23/1987 7/26/1987 4 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 10

Also note that Pujols joined Mark McGwire in 1999/2000 and Clark in 1987 with more walks than at-bats (9/8, 10/5, 10/7). Now, those are some impressive feats!

Drilling down even further, we come to a subset of walks, those which are ruled to be intentional. This something Pujols is seeing more and more often. In fact, he leads the Cardinals in games with two or more intentional walks since 1954.

Most times – two or more intentional walks in a game (1954-2009)

Pujols – 14

McGwire – 10

Musial – 10

Brock – 7

Simmons – 7

Hendrick – 5

Hernandez – 5

Cepeda – 5

Boyer – 4

Only one such game occurred over Pujols’ initial three seasons, 2001-2004, but since then, he has collected a baker’s dozen, of which eight have occurred in the last two seasons.

Most times – two or more intentional walks in a game (2004-2009)

Pujols – 13

Molina – 1

Kennedy – 1

Most times – two or more intentional walks in a game (2008-2009)

Pujols – 8 (all)

Going one final step, if one considers two or more walk games in which one or more was intentional, Pujols leads the club since 1954.

Streak – two walks with at least one intentional in a game (1954-2009)

Start End Games BB
Albert Pujols 5/22/2009 5/25/2009 4 9
Albert Pujols 6/7/2008 6/8/2008 2 4
Albert Pujols 9/11/2006 9/12/2006 2 4
Albert Pujols 8/8/2005 8/9/2005 2 6
Albert Pujols 4/9/2004 4/10/2004 2 4
Scott Rolen 8/11/2002 8/12/2002 2 4
Jim Edmonds 7/21/2002 7/22/2002 2 5
Mark McGwire 7/3/1998 7/4/1998 2 5
Mark McGwire 6/6/1998 6/7/1998 2 5
John Mabry 5/23/1998 5/24/1998 2 5
Jack Clark 7/9/1987 7/10/1987 2 4
Darrell Porter 4/20/1981 4/22/1981 2 4
Dane Iorg 8/13/1980 8/14/1980 2 4
Joe Torre 5/3/1973 5/4/1973 2 4
Bernie Carbo 8/26/1972 8/27/1972 2 5
Lou Brock 8/27/1971 8/28/1971 2 4
Joe Torre 7/24/1971 7/24/1971 2 5
Carl Sawatski 8/7/1961 8/8/1961 2 4
Stan Musial 7/29/1957 7/30/1957 2 4
Stan Musial 5/25/1956 5/27/1956 2 4

As always, thanks to statman Tom Orf, whose research makes these articles possible.

Footnote: I will be traveling much of the next two-plus weeks. While I will be catching the Quad Cities and Memphis clubs in person followed by the major league club in New York, I will also take some much-needed time off in between. As a result, I apologize in advance for what I expect will be less frequent posts in the upcoming days.

Assuming my mobile broadband is operational at my destination, even if there is no new content post, at a minimum I hope to post an open thread each day to enable you to carry out discussions.

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