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

Pujols’ four runs scored put him in elite company

Everybody knows that Albert Pujols hit two home runs on opening day, and many learned his four hits tied the St. Louis Cardinals’ opening day record, but how many noticed that he also scored four times? Further, do you have any idea how rarely that happens?

Pujols rounds third on opening day (Getty Images)Tom Orf does. With the new year, our in-season stats guru returns from his winter break and pulled the list of Cardinals scoring four or more times in one game, giving me an opportunity to analyze the data and share it with you.

In the last 90 years, it has happened 136 times. In Tony La Russa’s 14 years and one day as manager, Albert was number 23. Only once in those 23 games did the Cardinals lose. The last time a four-run game occurred twice in one season was 2006 and the most recent season in which no Cardinal crossed the plate at least four times in a game was 2001. It was also the only such year in the La Russa era.

The most runs scored in a game in team history is five, which has occurred eight times since 1920. The most recent was J.D. Drew on May 1, 1999.

Note that Pujols was also the most recent Cardinal prior to Monday to collect at least four hits in a four-run scored game, on July 20, 2004, when he had five. Albert also scored four times against the Reds on April 16, 2006.

Not in the table bonus

The Cardinals player with the most four-or-more run games is Frankie Frisch (1928-32) with seven. Rogers Hornsby (1920-25) and Sunny Jim Bottomley (1925-32) are next with six. Pujols (2004-10) and Chick Hafey (1929-31) are right behind with five. (Note there were a lot of runners crossing the plate in the late ‘20s and early ‘30s!)

The common thread? The other four are Hall of Famers.

Interestingly, the Cardinals career leaders in runs scored, a pair with Cooperstown plaques themselves, Stan Musial (1,959) and Lou Brock (1,427), are nowhere to be found among the single-game leaders. Brock had just three such games in his 16-season St. Louis career and amazingly, Stan the Man scored four times in a contest only once over 22 years. If only Musial would have enjoyed a supporting cast like the four Hall of Famers noted above!

St. Louis Cardinals player, four runs or more, game (1996-2010 listed by season)

Player Date Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB
Albert Pujols 4/5/2010 CIN W 11-6 5 5 4 4 0 0 2 3 0

Albert Pujols 4/23/2009 NYM W 12-8 5 4 4 3 0 0 2 3 1

Skip Schumaker 4/11/2008 SFG W 8-2 5 5 4 3 0 0 0 0 0

Rick Ankiel 9/6/2007 PIT W 16-4 5 4 4 3 1 0 2 7 1

Ronnie Belliard 9/19/2006 MIL W 12-2 5 4 4 3 1 0 1 1 1
Albert Pujols 4/16/2006 CIN W 8-7 5 4 4 3 0 0 3 5 1

Jim Edmonds 7/18/2005 MIL W 11-4 4 2 4 2 0 0 0 0 2
Albert Pujols 7/18/2005 MIL W 11-4 5 4 4 3 1 0 1 2 1
David Eckstein 6/19/2005 TBD W 8-5 5 3 4 2 0 0 0 0 1

Albert Pujols 7/20/2004 CHC W 11-8 5 5 4 5 1 0 3 5 0
Edgar Renteria 7/2/2004 SEA W 11-2 5 2 4 1 1 0 0 1 3

Jim Edmonds 6/28/2003 KCR W 13-9 6 4 4 4 2 0 2 3 2
Bo Hart 6/28/2003 KCR W 13-9 6 6 4 4 0 0 0 0 0
Jim Edmonds 6/8/2003 BAL W 11-10 5 4 4 3 0 0 2 3 1

Eli Marrero 9/20/2002 HOU W 9-3 5 4 4 4 0 0 1 2 1

Fernando Vina 2000-04-16 (2) COL L 13-14 6 5 4 5 1 0 0 0 1

J.D. Drew 5/1/1999 MON W 16-5 6 4 5 3 1 1 0 0 2

Mark McGwire 5/23/1998 SFG W 11-10 5 4 4 3 0 0 2 4 1
Mark McGwire 4/14/1998 ARI W 15-5 5 3 4 3 0 0 3 5 2

Ray Lankford 5/7/1997 PHI W 14-7 5 4 4 3 1 0 1 4 1
Ozzie Smith 9/2/1996 HOU W 8-7 6 5 4 3 1 0 1 3 1
Brian Jordan 7/12/1996 CHC W 13-3 4 4 4 3 1 0 1 3 0
John Mabry 5/9/1996 SFG W 16-8 5 5 4 3 0 0 0 1 0

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