Albert Pujols goes deep for the 400th time

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Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols just launched an opposite-field home run off Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.  It was his 400th career long-ball. 

Pujols is the 47th player to reach that feat and the third-youngest in baseball history, behind only Eddie Matthews and Alex Rodriguez.  He is a .332/.426/.625 career hitter and has managed at least 30 home runs over his first 10 major league seasons.

If “El Hombre” continues to crush opposing pitching and Joey Votto shows any kind of letup, he might even win baseball’s first Triple Crown since 1967.

But, uh, SI’s Tom Verducci still thinks Josh Hamilton is the “best player in baseball.”

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.