There weren’t any major umpiring controversies in the Wild Card or LDS rounds. There was some beefing about strike zones and last night’s replay business, but none of the umpires assigned to the first round of the postseason found their names in headlines, and that’s always a good thing.
We still have the LCS and World Series to go, however, so there’s always hope! Here are the fine fellows who will have their chance to make history — or, preferably, work unnoticed — over the next ten days:
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).