Not that Albert Pujols, the Cardinals, or any Cardinals fans care much after last night, but his streak of consecutive seasons with a .300 batting average, 30 homers, and 100 RBIs came to an end at 10.
And just barely, as Pujols finished with a .299 batting average and 99 RBIs to go along with his 37 homers.
That he came so close is pretty remarkable considering Pujols got off to a career-worst start, spent time on the disabled list with a fractured forearm, and then came back much sooner than expected from the injury.
Had the Cardinals and Braves remained tied for the Wild Card the statistics from a Game 163 tiebreaker would have counted towards Pujols’ season totals. As is he hit .355 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 26 September games.
Not only is Pujols tied with Lou Gehrig and Manny Ramirez for second place on the all-time list with 10 seasons of .300-30-100, they were the first 10 seasons of his career. Babe Ruth holds the record with 12.
CLEVELAND (AP) Indians ace Corey Kluber had the hard cast protecting his broken right arm removed and the two-time Cy Young winner is healing as hoped.
Kluber underwent imaging texts Thursday, which showed that his ulna is mending properly. Cleveland manager Terry Francona said Kluber can begin range of motion and that he will be re-examined in two weeks.
The right-hander broke his arm when he was struck flush by a line drive hit by Miami’s Brian Anderson on May 1. At the time, the Indians said surgery wasn’t needed, and Francona said the medical staff told him Kluber was having “expected healing.”
Kluber has been fitted with a protective brace. He said it was a relief to have the cast off and is excited that he “can do a lot more now.”
The 33-year-old ran sprints in the outfield before the series opener against Tampa Bay.
Kluber won 20 games last season and at least 18 in each of the past three seasons. He is 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA in seven starts this year.
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