.231 on May 4th?
That’s a frightning 10 game log for Jon Jay or Skip Shumaker. But for El Hombre, the man that can do no wrong… it’s just… well, it’s just confusing, really.
Albert Pujols is a bunch of things, but a streak hitter he is not. He has oozed consistency over the past decade hitting over .300 with 30 HR’s and 100 RBI’s each of the years he’s played a full season. But in the midst of the biggest contract year, most likely ever, Albert Pujols has – no easy way to put this – kind of shit the bed.
Let’s say that #5 comes out of the gate hacking. He has a torrent April and just destroys everyone in his way. The talk would be at a fever pitch about what he’s worth, what he’ll get and where he’s playing in 2012.
Well I think that a lot of you are in the same boat I’m in. Still rooting for the guy to have a monster year, still rooting for the Cardinals to do good, but completely torn about what this means.
Is this a blip? A 30 game sample that happens to be a rare valley? Or a harbinger of a declining player that’s more concerned about his contract to cut through a slump? Somewhere in between?
I think we all were under the impression that this was going to get better. That Pujols was Pujols and that he wasn’t going to be the one dragging the Cardinals lineup down. But each ten game split of 2011 has been worse than the last. And judging by the drop in power, we don’t even have that as an belief that the average is just waiting to catch up.
We knew that 2011 was going to be an interesting season. And Pujols pending free agent status was going to be a part of that intrigue. But 30 games in, with one of the best offenses in the NL and Pujols flirting with the Mendoza line? That we didn’t see.
Yes, it’s still early.
But we’ve never seen this much of a downturn from the best player in baseball. So another few weeks at this pace we’ll have to revisit this post and see if it might be time to seriously consider a future without the biggest icon St. Louis has playing in St. Louis.
To be continued…