Albert Pujols is most certainly back.
Not to be outdone by his own performance in Saturday afternoon’s 12th-inning victory over the rival Cubs, the Cardinals first baseman slugged a second straight walkoff home run on Sunday in a thrilling 3-2 extra-innings win for St. Louis.
The Cards swept the three-game series.
Albert’s 10th-inning blast sailed high into the left-center field bleachers. He admired the shot for several seconds at home plate before trotting around the bases slowly and dancing down the third base line into a jumping huddle of Cardinals players. It’s quite clear: he’s feelin’ it.
That’s now four homers in three games for Pujols, and two of the game-ending variety.
Pujols ended the month of May with a .267/.336/.419 batting line. Just five games into June, he’s now hitting .278/.353/.473. His OPS has jumped from .745 to .826 in less than a week.
Cubs manager Mike Quade told reporters on Sunday morning that he didn’t sleep Saturday night after making the decision to pitch to Pujols in the 12th inning. Somebody may want to pass him some Ambien for the plane ride to Cincinnati, because he made an almost identical decision on Sunday afternoon in the 10th.
The Cardinals are now 11 games above .500 and alone atop the National League Central standings.