That was the definition of getting Pujol'd.
John Madden used to pontificate about what would happen when the unstoppable force came into contact with the immoveable object. Well this afternoon, we saw what happens when Albert Pujols played both roles. He wasn't about to be moved by what Kevin Slowey was pitching, and I probably don't need to explain why he was unstoppable.
The weather wasn't doing favors to the pitchers. When it's as hot and humid as it was in St. Louis on Saturday afternoon, it can be hard to concentrate pitch after pitch after pitch. Both Todd Wellemeyer and Slowey would attest to this, as neither of them managed to see the fourth inning. Unfortunately, Slowey is the one who pitched longest, which meant he was on the mound in the third inning to see Pujols come around for the second time. That first bomb was on a slider right down the middle of the plate, so naturally Slowey mixed it up the second time around. It was a first pitch fastball, up in the zone, and Pujols pulled it to left for his 28th home run of the season.
Take one moment to appreciate the greatness that is the AP of the baseball world. What's it like to slug .700? Just ask him.
On the plus side, Brendan Harris managed to give the Twins a momentary glimmer of hope. Down 2-0 following Pujols' first shot, Harris blooped a bases-loaded single and with the help of a diving Chris Duncan. All three runners crossed the plate to five the visitors a brief 3-2 lead. Bobby Keppel actually pitched four innings of shutout baseball, giving the Twins offense a chance to take back the game. They never did, and in fact Keppel was the only man to reach base after the fourth inning by taking a walk in the seventh.
Josh Kinney, Trever Miller, Kyle McClellan, Dennys Reyes, Jason Motte and Ryan Franklin combined to give the Cardinals 6.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Which is fantastic, for St. Louis. But considering who some of those guys are, and how they pitched, the Twins have to be disappointed about missed opportunities.
One chance to take back the series, coming tomorrow. See you there.
Stars of the Game
#3: Delmon Young (1-for-1, .044 WPA)
#2: Brendan Harris (2-for-4, 3 RBI, .209 WPA)
#1: Bobby Keppel (4 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 0 R; 0-for-0, BB, .127 WPA)