Tagged: St. Louis Cardinals

Top Ten Time!

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                Today’s
top ten today is about the decades top ten homers. From Aaron Boone’s Walk-Off
homer to A-Rod’s walk-off against Junichi Tazawa, all the big ones are here.

10: The miracle in Hollywood.                                                                             
The game went into the ninth inning with a 9-5 deficit. San Diego had
scored 3 runs in the top of the ninth inning to extend their lead to an almost
unreachable 9-5 lead like I said before. Well this time is was reachable. In
the bottom of the ninth inning Jeff Kent lead off with a solo shot. 9-6. Still
hard to reach. Then JD Drew launches one out. 9-7. Then Russell Martin hits one
out. 9-8. The Dodgers are still one run away against Trevor Hoffman who came in
after JD Drew’s Homer. Well what happened next was Marlon Anderson’s second
blast of the day to tie it up. 4 homers in a row. That had not happened since
1964. But that is not the end of it. In the top of the tenth Josh Bard singled
in Brian Giles. The Dodgers have another deficit. But what do they do? Kenny
Lofton walks and Nomar Garciaparra hits one deep into the stands for a 2 run
walk off shot. Miracle.

9: Burke sends the
Astros to the NLCS:
This 18th inning marathons that stands as the longest playoff
game ever, had much more than the Chris Burke walk-off homerun in the final
inning. The score was 6-1 going into the bottom of the 8th inning,
highlighted by an Adam LaRoche grand slam. So in the bottom of the 8th
inning, Lance Berkman crushes a grand slam of his own to make the score 6-5.
Then we go to the bottom of the ninth. Then with 2 outs, Brad Ausmus launches a
clutch homerun to tie the game. This game goes on and on until the 18th
inning where Chris Burke ends it all with a walk off homerun.

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8: Bad to good in
Motown.
3 years after going 43-119, the Tigers are in the World Series. Thanks to
Magglio Ordonez. By the 5th inning it was 3-0 Athletics. Curtis
Granderson doubled in Brandon Inge and then Craig Monroe double Granderson in.
3-2. Then next inning, Magglio Ordonez launched a solo shot to tie the game at
3-3. Time past and the bottom of the ninth came. With 2 outs, Craig Monroe
singled. Then Placido Polanco followed with a best hit of his own. Then Magglio
Ordonez stepped up to the plate. With one swing he could send his team to the
World Series. And he did.

7: Johnny sinks the
Yanks.
In the midst of one of the worst postseason series in Yankees history, the
to-be Yankee crushed a grand slam and a 2 run shot. Big homer that destroyed
the Yankees and they didn’t get back to the ALCS until 09. Though even without
this grand salami it doesn’t seem the Yankees would have won anyway. But this
was still a big blow.

6: Fast and Powerless
always wins the game.
After 0 homers in the whole regular season, Scott Podsednik was the hero.
After Paul Konerko launched a grand slam in the 7th inning to take
the lead 6-4, it seems that the Astros would not come back. But they did. In
the top of the 9th inning, Jose Vizcaino hit a 2 out, 2 run single
to tie the game. In the bottom of the inning Scott Podsednik came up with one
out, and the only way he was excepting to end the game was if he somehow hit an
inside the park homerun. That is how little power he had. But he did end the
game, and it did go over the outfield fence.

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5: Roidtiz saves the
Sox.
Why are the Red Sox homers always important? We don’t know but we know that
we hate it. This Red Sux homer also killed the Yankees (always the Yankees!)
After Mo rarely blew a save because of Dave Roberts stealing second base and
then Mo allowing a single to Bill Mueller to tie the game, the game proceeded
to the 12th inning where David Ortiz stepped up to the plate and
delivered the big blow to finish the Yankees off, sadly.

4: King Albert’s moon
shot shocks Astros.
The Astros were one strike away. But they had to face King Albert. One
strike away from their first World Series. And Albert ruined it. The Astros
were down 2-1 in the bottom of the 7th and Lance Berkman crushed a 3
run homer to give the ‘Stros a 4-2 lead. Brad Lidge came in the ninth and
quickly retired the first 2 batters of the inning. Pesky David Eckstein worked
a long AB then hit a single. Jim Edmond worked a walk and with two strikes,
Albert Pujols hit one that hit the windows in left in Minute Maid Park to give
the Cardinals the lead

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3: Mr. November.
After Tino tied it in the ninth, Jeter took the spotlight in a city that
had been sad and silent after the very tragic incident on 9/11. The clock had
just struck 12 and baseball’s first game in November ever ended with a bang. Derek
Jeter stepped up, clutch and all, and launched one into the right field stands and
was granted the prestigious nickname, Mr. November. This homerun cheered up the
fans of New York after 9/11.Too bad this is really rare…

2: Tino and Scott.
Miracles happen if you really need them, and that is what the Yankees
needed on the nights of October 31 2001 and November 1 2001. On the 31st
the Yankees entered the ninth inning down by 2. Derek Jeter bunted and was out
by a centimeter. Paul O’Neil then lined an opposite field single to left field.
After Bern, Bern, Bernie Williams struck out, Tino Martinez stepped up to the
plate hoping to cheer up the fateful NY fans. He did. He launched the first
pitch he saw from 22 year old Korean Byung-Hyun Kim over the fence for a game
tying homer, bringing joy to all Yankee fans watching. But this is something
that happens once in a blue moon, maybe three or four times a season if you are
lucky. (A-Rod did it thrice this year). But of course it is IMPOSIBBLE to do it
twice in a row. But nothing is impossible. The next night after a strong start
from Mike Mussina but a stronger start by Miguel Batista, it was 2-0 in the
bottom of the night. Bob Brenly again went to his 22 year old Byung-Hyun Kim.
Jorge Posada led off the inning with a double but Kim got the next 2 outs. Scott
Brosius came up thinking the same thing Tino was the night before. And he did
the same thing Tino did. Except this time he had John Sterling yelling “Do you
belief in miracles!?!?!?!”

1: Aaron Boone goes
down in history.
And our number 1 goes to no other then Aaron Boone. The game started with
the Red Sox knocking Roger Clemens out early and took a 4-0 lead. Mike Mussina
came in for his first appearance in relief and threw 3 shutouts innings backed
by 2 Jason Giambi solo shots. Then in the 8th with the Red Sox up
5-2, Grady Little chose to keep Pedro Martinez in the game. This move backfired
for the Red Sox as Derek Jeter single and a Bernie Williams double. Grady
Little went to the mound again and
chose to keep Pedro Martinez in again.
Hideki Matsui then hit a double and another double to Jorge Posada to tie the
game in the 8th. Mo came in in the ninth and threw a scoreless 9th,
10th, and 11th. Tim Wakefield threw a scoreless tenth and
then in the 11th came in the face Aaron Boone. Boone launched the
first pitch he saw into the left field stands, holding his arms up in joy.

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Honorable Mention:
Mike Piazza’s homerun after 9/11, Todd Helton’s homerun to keep the Rockies’s
season alive in 2007, A-Rod’s game tying homerun off Joe Nathan, A-Rod’s walk off
homerun off Junichi Tazawa,

PS: No records
such as Barry Bonds 756th homer were included because they are
record.

These were the top ten homeruns of the decade. Check out next week for next
week’s top ten. Any comments, questions, or disagreements? Please feel free to
comment.

DEBATE TIME: IS PUJOLS THE BEST IN BASEBALL?

Albert Pujols. A name that strikes fear in the hearts of pitchers, a name that revitalizes a weary team, a name that can single handedly change the course of a bapastedGraphic.pdfllgame. Everyone knows Pujols is one of the best players in baseball. But is he the best? Twinsfans will argue for Mauer, Brewers fans will make a case for Prince, and Yankees fans will give the honors to Jeter. So let’s settle this argument once and for all. Let’s decide if Pujols really is the best player in baseball right now. 


Our criteria: In order to be great, you must exceed in three areas: personal statistics, team impact, and coming through in the clutch.


PERSONAL STATISTICS

Pujols has played for nine years. It is often difficult to maintain a high average over a significant period of time, but Pujols has managed to do that: his career average is a stunning .334. I can think of few others who can keep up such a high average over so long, but Ichiro it has done and Joe Mauer and Hanley have the ability to do it in the future. Over those 9 years, Pujols has slugged 366 homers: that comes out to an eye-popping 41 homers a year.Alex Rodriguez has done that…but he was on steroids. Prince Fielder has the talent to do that…as long as his violent swing does not tear a muscle before he plays a decade. That brings up another advantage of Pujols: in nine years, he has never suffered a major injury (knock on wood). Moving on…over the course of his career, Pujols has knocked in 1112 RBIs. Get ready for this: that comes out to 124 RBIs a year. Few players can knock in 124 RBIs in one season let alone average that many over 9 seasons. So it’s clear to see: when it comes to personal statistics, Albert Pujols tops the charts.


TEAM IMPACT

Think about this for a second: before this season (when the Cardinals picked up Matt Holliday) did they really have any quality hitters other than Pujols? Someone who would pick up the slack when Pujols was having an off day, or someone powerful for Pujols to bat in front of? No. Pujols has supported the Cardinals almost single-handedly for the 9 years he has been in St. Louis. And they have not done too badly either, getting into the playoffs many times and winning it all in 2006. Without Pujols, the Cardinals would have been one of the worst teams in baseball, but because of the presence of the man, they have turned into quite a successful franchise. Few players in the majors can brag about that, and Pujols wins this round as well.


COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH:

In the postseason, Albert Pujols has hit .322 in his career with 13 homers and 36 RBIs over 56 games. Pretty amazing stuff. Sure, players like Jeter have done better, but it is still a very impressive resume. This year, with runners in scoring position, Pujols hit .361. Pretty amazing. Again, I am sure that a couple players have done better, but the point I am trying to make is that Pujols comes through in the clutch. So Pujols might not win this round, but he is certainly a worthy contender. 


So, to conclude, Pujols has unbelievable personal statistics, he impacts his team positively, and he comes through in the clutch. Sounds like the best player in baseball to me.


It’s official, the Yankeeholics Friday Debate has been concluded and the Yankeeholics have announced that we feel Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball!


Questions? Comments? Disagreements? Other candidates? Post us a comment! See you next Friday for our next Debate!


NL MVP: SAME OLD, SAME OLD

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Seasons changes, people change, ages change, rules change, planets change. Everything changes, except for the MVP award going to Albert Pujols. For the third time, the St. Louis Cardinal 1st baseman has been named the NL Most Valuable Player. It was a unanimous vote, an unarguable ruling, one that contains no twists, no difficulties, no obstacles; from any angle you look at it, whether you are a Cubs fan or a Cardinals fan, a Rays fan or a Red Sox fan, a Mets fan or a Mariners fan, Albert Pujols is the best player in baseball. Just take a look at the numbers for proof:

BATTING AVERAGE: .327 (6th in baseball, 3rd in the NL)

HOME RUNS: 47 (1st in baseball)

RBIs: 135 (3rd in baseball)

OPS: 1.101 (1st in baseball)

WALKS: 115 (3rd in baseball)

RUNS: 124 (1st in baseball)

FIELDING PERCENTAGE: .992

There is no way to argue with those numbers, so we’ll leave you to ponder the greatness of the man.

Though no person was as good as Pujols, some players had outstanding seasons and deserve honorable mentions. Here they are: 

HANLEY RAMIREZ: Han-Ram led the NL with a .342 batting average, and had a bit of power as well with 24 homers. He knocked in 106 runs, had an OBP of .410, and slugged it out at .543. As a bonus: he nabbed 27 bases. Those numbers constitute a very impressive season, as he took home the Silver Slugger Award from shortstop and cam second in the running for MVP.

PRINCE FIELDER: Prince smashed a stunning 46 homers this season and led the NL with an incredible 141 RBIs. his OBP and Slugging were very high as well, at .412 and .602 respectively, and his batting average was a shade under .300 at .299. In addition, he fielded the ball well, and ended up with a .995 Fielding Percentage. An absolutely fantastic season for Prince, but not enough to beat out Pujols. 

RYAN HOWARD: Howard hit 45 homers, knocked in a league leading 141 runs, and slugged .571. So far, so good. But the possible reason he did not get the MVP was that he only hit .279 and could only manage a .360 OBP. He had a nice season, but not quite up to MVP standard.

MARK REYNOLDS: Reynolds hit 44 homers and knocked in 102 while slugging .543, but his .260 batting average and his .349 OBP just aren’t good enough to take home the MVP. 

ADRIAN GONZALEZ: Gonzalez went unnoticed the whole year, but put up some respectable numbers, with 40 homers, 99 RBIs, and .551 Slugging. His average was below par at .277, and he was never a real threat to Pujols for the MVP award. Still, ha had a nice season.

And that will wrap up our analysis of the NL MVP! Congratulations to Albert Pujols!