2016: The National League East in a nutshell

Associated Press
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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2016 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East.

The Mets have the aces and a pennant. The Nationals have the best player in the National League and a new manager at the helm. The Marlins have the most fearsome power hitter in the game. The Braves and Phillies have a lot of nice people working for them whom, I am sure, all have happy families and some very interesting hobbies, and hey there are more important things in life than winning baseball games, right?

Here are our previews to the beasts of the N.L. East. You can really define the word “beast” in any number of ways if you think about it hard enough.

New York Mets Preview
Washington Nationals Preview
Miami Marlins Preview
Atlanta Braves Preview
Philadelphia Phillies Preview

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).