Is Pujols in a “Slump”?
By Jackson White, Stat Man
Only three players in the history of baseball haveÂ ever heldÂ the distinguished honor of being my favorite for any span of time. In chronological order they are as follows: Robin Ventura (1996-98), Chipper Jones (1999-2002) and Albert Pujols (2003-Present).
I still have admiration for the first two, but Ventura has retired andÂ Jones is in the twilight of his career, so the majority of my idolization has been shifted to Pujols. Of course, with my addiction to stats, Pujols is the perfect candidate to idolize.Â
It’s not just the fact he’s had nine .300 AVG, 30 HR, 100 RBIÂ seasons in a row, but the fact he’s done it while having more walks than strikeouts every year except for his rookie campaign.Â Seriously, the man’sÂ got three MVP awards, and he’s been in the top five of MVP voting every year but one. Most importantly, he’s performed in the post-season.
So one can understand my chagrin when, throughout 2010, Pujols has been flirting with the .300 line while the Cardinals have been battling the Reds for a playoff spot. Granted, entering this week Pujols has gotten the average back up to .311 but, for a man whose batted at least .327 every year since 2002, this is still surprising.
I’ve been trying to figure out what the source of his problems are, and they’re obvious when looking at the splits.
|Average||Career||2010 Season (as of 8/9)|
|In STL Wins||.373||.354|
|In STL Losses||.278||.258|
|Ahead In The Count||.368||.344|
|Behind In The Count||.292||.275|
|Right Handed Pitching||.328||.313|
|Left Handed Pitcing||.342||.304|
As expected he’sÂ dropped in many areas, butÂ especially in road games (51 points) and against lefties (38 points).Â
IÂ know IÂ can’t complain too much (to think Cubs fans would kill for Derek Lee or Aramis Ramirez to be having something close to the season Pujols is having) and maybe I, like most Cardinal fans, am getting spoiled. After all, he’s still on pace for .300, 30, 100.
Â That said, Pujols will need to pick it up in order for the Cardinals to pass the Reds, or at least get the wild-card. As the splits show, as Pujols goes, soÂ go the Cardinals.