Albert Pujols reflects on career against the Mets
Albert Pujols enjoys return to Queens with Cardinals
NEW YORK — As the New York Mets face the St. Louis Cardinals in their final meeting in the regular season, the series also marks what might be the last time future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols takes the field in Queens.
Over the course of an illustrious 22-year career, Pujols looks back on his matchups against the Mets fondly.
“Obviously there is a great history coming through [Citi Field] and Shea Stadium with the Cardinals,” said the Dominican slugger, who also claimed sole possession of 10th place on the all-time hits list with his 3,314th. “Although we weren’t in the same division, I always felt like there was always a rivalry.”
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments between the two clubs was the 2006 National League Championship Series that clinched St. Louis a spot in the World Series they ultimately won.
Pujols, who was only 26 at the time, went 7-for-22 with a .316 batting average throughout the seven-game series.
Respect for Mad Max
On the bump against Pujols on Wednesday night was former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate and now Mets ace Max Scherzer.
The two suited up together in the second half of last season following Scherzer’s trade from the Washington Nationals. Known throughout baseball as one of the game’s fiercest competitors, Pujols said that is something that helps set him apart from everyone else.
“He’s the type of guy that when there is a big game, he wants the ball,” said Pujols. “I saw that firsthand last year, and there’s very few like him.”
Prior to Scherzer’s sixth inning exit due to left side discomfort, Pujols went 2-for-3 on the night against the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
St. Louis hasn’t changed
Eleven years after departing St. Louis for a megadeal with the Los Angeles Angels, Albert Pujols is back with the team he broke in with. Although it has been over a decade since his departure, Pujols hasn’t seen much difference.
“It’s been the same,” said Pujols, who rejoined close friends Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina for the 2022 season. “The organization has not changed at all.
“I’ve changed, I’m older and wiser but returning to St. Louis, it feels like I’ve never left.”
With the Cardinals, Pujols has amassed nine All-Star appearances, two World Series Championships, three MVP awards and was named the 2001 National League Rookie of the Year.
He has clobbered many teams along the way, and the Mets are no exception. Of Pujols’ 3,314 hits, 93 of them have been against the Mets.
The .297 career hitter has compiled a .306 career batting average against the Mets with 23 home runs and 68 RBIs.
Given his legendary performance and resume with the Cardinals, it’s safe to assume Pujols will don a Cardinals cap when elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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