The Cardinal Nation blog

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

Pujols: Extra bases in bunches


St. Louis Cardinals fans would probably rather forget Wednesday afternoon’s collapse at New York’s Citi Field as the Mets shut out the visitors by a 9-0 score.

Still, there was at least one positive to come out of the game. After hitting a double and two home runs on Tuesday night, Albert Pujols came back strongly on Wednesday, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that his recent slump is totally behind him.

Albert stroked a pair of doubles in three official at-bats Wednesday, both to left field. The first was hit so hard that despite running at full speed, Pujols barely made it into second base before the throw. (He also reached base a third time when hit by a pitch.)

The two Mets contests became Pujols’ 13th and 14th multiple extra-base hit games this season. In the process, he extended his 2009 Major League Baseball lead in the category over Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder and the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier, both with 11.

Multiple extra-base hit games – 2009 MLB

Games
Albert Pujols 14
Prince Fielder 11
Andre Ethier 11
Mark Teixeira 10
Cody Ross 10
Justin Morneau 10
Nick Markakis 10
Adam Lind 10
Raul Ibanez 10
Brad Hawpe 10
Ryan Braun 10

The best season of such games by a Cardinal player since at least 1954 was set at 19 by Pujols in 2004 and tied by him again just two years later. In fact, Pujols has registered seven of the top 15 seasons with multiple extra-base hit games by a Cardinal over at least the last 55 years.

Considering the quality of hitters that have donned the birds on the bat uniform back to and including the second half of Hall of Famer Stan Musial’s career makes Albert’s feats even more impressive.

Multiple extra-base hit games, season – Cardinals (1954-2009)

Year Games
Albert Pujols 2004 19
Albert Pujols 2006 19
Mark McGwire 1998 18
Ryan Ludwick 2008 17
Jim Edmonds 2004 17
Stan Musial 1954 16
Mark McGwire 1999 16
Jim Edmonds 2003 16
Stan Musial 1957 15
Albert Pujols 2009 14
Albert Pujols 2008 14
Albert Pujols 2003 14
Scott Rolen 2003 13
Albert Pujols 2002 13
Albert Pujols 2001 13
Jim Edmonds 2000 13
Ken Boyer 1960 13
Dick Allen 1970 13
Fernando Tatis 1999 12
Scott Rolen 2006 12
Jack Clark 1987 12
Garry Templeton 1979 11
Scott Rolen 2004 11
Albert Pujols 2005 11
Ray Lankford 1996 11
Felix Jose 1991 11
Jim Edmonds 2005 11
Orlando Cepeda 1967 11
Lou Brock 1967 11

Given the high number of top individual seasons already put into the record books by Pujols means it is not surprising that he leads the Cardinals in such career games in at least the last 55 years. Albert’s total of 126 games is a whopping 40 percent higher than accumulated the closest player, Ray Lankford.

Multiple extra-base hit games, career – Cardinals (1954-2009)

Games
Albert Pujols 126
Ray Lankford 90
Jim Edmonds 80
Lou Brock 77
Ken Boyer 76
Stan Musial 71
Ted Simmons 58
Bill White 51
Scott Rolen 46
Mark McGwire 46
George Hendrick 45
Keith Hernandez 42
Willie McGee 40
Curt Flood 39
Brian Jordan 36
Joe Torre 33
Garry Templeton 31
Edgar Renteria 30
Ozzie Smith 28
Ken Reitz 27
Ryan Ludwick 27
Todd Zeile 26
Julian Javier 25
J.D. Drew 25
Terry Pendleton 24
Wally Moon 24
Tim McCarver 23
Orlando Cepeda 23
Rip Repulski 22
Darrell Porter 22
Joe Cunningham 22
Fernando Tatis 21
Vince Coleman 21
Ron Gant 20
Jack Clark 20

Here in 2009, Pujols still has roughly a third of the season, 52 games remaining, to build onto his total. If able to maintain his pace the rest of the way, Albert would end with 21 multiple-extra base hit games. That would vault him to the top with the best season in the category by any Cardinal in at least the last 55 years.


Extra innings coverage – Pujols also leads in five-or-more RBI games

Pujols’ five-RBI outing on Tuesday night was his fourth of the 2009 season. That is the most such games in a single season by a Cardinal since at least 1954. In doing so, he broke a tie with himself in 2006 and 2007, Mark McGwire in 1999 and an unlikely name, Joe Hague, in 1970.

Five-or-more RBI games, season – Cardinals (1954-2009)

Year Games
Albert Pujols 2009 4
Albert Pujols 2007 3
Albert Pujols 2006 3
Mark McGwire 1999 3
Joe Hague 1970 3
Ted Simmons 1973 2
Ted Simmons 1980 2
Scott Rolen 2006 2
Edgar Renteria 2003 2
Albert Pujols 2001 2
Albert Pujols 2004 2
Stan Musial 1954 2
Stan Musial 1961 2
Mark McGwire 1998 2
Brian Jordan 1996 2
George Hendrick 1980 2
Pedro Guerrero 1990 2
Ken Boyer 1956 2
Ken Boyer 1961 2

Pujols has now doubled up Big Mac for the most five-or-more RBI games in his Cardinals career with 16.

Five-or-more RBI games, career – Cardinals (1954-2009)

Games
Albert Pujols 16
Mark McGwire 8
Stan Musial 7
Ken Boyer 7
Ted Simmons 6
Scott Rolen 4
Edgar Renteria 4
George Hendrick 4
Jim Edmonds 4
Bill White 3
Willie McGee 3
John Mabry 3
Ray Lankford 3
Brian Jordan 3
Keith Hernandez 3
Joe Hague 3
Pedro Guerrero 3
Curt Flood 3

Thanks to Tom Orf for the data tables.

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