It didn’t work out so well for them yesterday, but the Cardinals have another early lead against the Brewers.
After Jon Jay reached on a bunt single with one out in the top of the first inning, Albert Pujols took right-hander Shaun Marcum deep for a two-run home run, giving the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. It was a rocket over the left field fence.
As noted by Jayson Stark of ESPN.com, Pujols was homerless over his previous 47 at-bats in the postseason. His last postseason home run was off Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the 2006 World Series against the Tigers.
Astros starter Justin Verlander wasn’t his usual dominant self on Sunday against the Athletics, but he was good enough to get the win. In doing so, he earned the 200th win of his career, becoming the 117th member of the 200-win club.
Verlander went 5 1/3 innings, yielding four runs (all earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts. On the season, Verlander is now 12-8 with a 2.65 ERA and a 223/29 K/BB ratio in 169 2/3 innings. Sunday’s win helped the Astros stave off the surging A’s. The Astros now have a one-game lead in the AL West.
Only two active pitchers have more wins than Verlander: Bartolo Colon (247) and CC Sabathia (244). Zack Greinke will likely be the next member of the 200-win club as he currently has 184 to his name.