Cubs nemesis Albert Pujols punctuates rivalry with epic parting shot – NBC Chicago

No need to like the Cardinals to appreciate the Pujols originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Talk about a goodbye.

In his final at-bat of his career against the Cubs, the Cardinals’ all-time great Albert Pujols did what all-time greats do – this time punctuating one of the most prolific careers as a killer ever. wolf cubs from the history of wolf slayers with a two-throw an exclamation point.

His 59th career homer against the Cubs was an eighth-inning winner in a scoreless Sunday game that swept the Cubs out of town and pushed his career total to 695 with 28 games left in what he insists. about the fact that this will be his last season.

“He’s The Machine for a reason,” said the pitcher who gave up the home run.

Wait, no. That’s what the last Cubs pitcher who gave up a home run to Pujols – Drew Smyly – said after that seventh inning a home run less than two weeks earlier beat the Cubs 1-0 at Wrigley Field.

RELATED: Pujols beat Cubs in last game, edge closer to making history

RELATED: Pujols closes Wrigley’s final chapter among Cubs’ all-time enemies

Pujols hit more homers against the Cubs than any team except the Astros (62) and, with the Cubs-Cards season streak over, finished his career against the Cubs with a .292 ERA, percentage of 0.605 and 0.999 OPS strike.

Cubs rookie left-hander Brandon Hughes on Sunday became the 451st different pitcher Pujols has played against, two more than Barry Bonds’ previous record (Pujols tied the record against Smyly).

Sunday’s farewell kick – off the bench, no less – was certainly a fitting end, if not the summation, to 199 commercial knockdown matches with Pujols that began in 2001 and included sporadic encounters with his angels from 2013 to 2019, until returning to the Cardinals for his final season this year.

And you don’t have to like cardinals to appreciate Pujols.

Of course, that might not apply to the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s home run.

As much as Sunday’s blow could have been worse for the Cubs if they were fighting for a playoff spot and as “momental” as a Chicago columnist suggested the scene was overall after the game, the manager of the Cubs David Ross didn’t seem in the mood to tell the story of the moment or join the vast choir in singing Pujols’s praises.

“Listen, they’re a very good team, and they have guys who have been in several championships,” he said on the post-match show when asked about the Pujols moment. , “and they’ve got momentum on their side right now. They’re playing really good baseball…And then a Hall of Famer steps in and hits a pinch home run. Just one of between them – you have to give them a thumbs up. Our guys competed really hard and just missed a bit.

Pujols put the moment in the context of winning the game when he spoke to the St. Louis media afterwards.

“It’s just kind of special to be able to do that,” said the man – The Machine – who is now one homer from Alex Rodriguez for fourth on the all-time list.

Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol was more than willing to appreciate the history and momentum for Pujol’s career as he enjoyed the sweep that took the Cards to the top of the division at 8½ games. .

“There are times in this game where you take a step back from being locked into the game and you can be a fan for a minute and experience it like everyone else,” Marmol told St. Louis after the game. “He was one of them.

“You take it all because what he’s doing is absolutely amazing.”

And that’s the problem, whether you’re a Cardinal, like Marmol, or hate Cardinals like most Cubs fans.

Few opponents have had the career displays against the Cubs that Pujols has. And Cubs fans can at least take solace in the fact that they’ve finally seen the last of him against their team — maybe even the last player to do as much as he’s done against the Cubs so many times.

In fact, two of his four career three-homer games have come against the Cubs, in 2004 and 2010, and he added a two-homer game in 2011.

His first home run against the Cubs was the 12th of his career, against Kyle Farnsworth on May 12, 2001, at St. Louis (he added his 13th the next day). His first home run at Wrigley Field was against Kerry Wood on July 28 that year – in a game current Royals manager Mike Matheny caught for the Cardinals, current White Sox backup manager Miguel Cairo hit for the Cubs and current Cubs broadcaster Ron Coomer started at No. 3 for the Cubs.

He hit his 300th career home run against Cubs reliever Bob Howry on July 4, 2008, an eighth-inning solo shot in a 2–1 win by the eventual Cubs division champion.

He hit 55 against the Cubs as a Cardinal; four as an angel.

The Cubs went 18-36 in games Pujols rotated against them.

Pujols’ full home run list against the Cubs (career HR number in parentheses), with the Cubs’ game result (bold face indicates multi-HR play):

  • (12) May 12, 2001, in Saint-Louis — L, 5-2
  • (13) May 13, 2001, in Saint-Louis — L, 13-4
  • (25) July 28, 2001, in Chicago — L, 7-4
  • (53) June 23, 2002, in Chicago — W, 8-3
  • (68) August 30, 2002, in Chicago — L, 6-3
  • (69) Aug. 31, 2002, in Chicago — L, 8-1
  • (81) May 17, 2003, in Saint-Louis — W, 2-1
  • (82) May 19, 2003, in Saint-Louis — L, 2-0
  • (96) July 4, 2003, in Chicago — L, 11-8
  • (97) July 5, 2003, in Chicago — W, 6-5
  • (106) Aug. 26, 2003, at St. Louis — W, 7-4
  • (122) May 3, 2004, in Saint-Louis — W, 7-3
  • (125) May 21, 2004, in Chicago — L, 7-6
  • (126) May 23, 2004, in Chicago — W, 4-3
  • (134) June 23, 2004, in Saint-Louis — L, 10-9
  • (136) July 9, 2004, in Saint-Louis — L, 6-1
  • (139) July 20, 2004, in Chicago — L, 11-8
  • (140) July 20, 2004, in Chicago — (L, 11-8)
  • (141) July 20, 2004, in Chicago — (L, 11-8)
  • (164) April 20, 2005, in Saint-Louis — W, 3-1
  • (192) Aug. 11, 2005, at Chicago – W, 11-4
  • (193) August 13, 2005, in Chicago — L, 5-2
  • (196) September 5, 2005, in Saint-Louis — L, 6-4
  • (197) Sept. 7, 2005, at St. Louis—W, 2-1
  • (212) April 21, 2006, in Saint-Louis — L, 9-3
  • (237) August 18, 2006, in Chicago — L, 11-3
  • (255) April 22, 2007, in Chicago — L, 12-9
  • (256) April 28, 2007, in Saint-Louis — W, 8-1
  • (273) July 26, 2007, in Saint-Louis — L, 11-1
  • (276) Aug. 17, 2007, at Chicago – W, 2-1
  • (277) Aug. 18, 2007, at Chicago – W, 5-3
  • (278) August 19, 2007, in Chicago — L, 6-4
  • (281) Sept. 14, 2007, at St. Louis — W, 5-3
  • (288) May 3, 2008, in St. Louis – W, 9-3
  • (300) July 4, 2008, at St. Louis—W, 2-1
  • (306) August 9, 2008, in Chicago — L, 12-3
  • (315) September 9, 2008, in Saint-Louis — L, 4-3
  • (326) April 25, 2009, in Saint-Louis — L, 8-2
  • (333) May 21, 2009, in Saint-Louis — L, 3-1
  • (351) July 10, 2009, in Chicago — L, 8-3
  • (376) May 30, 2010, in Chicago — L, 9-1
  • (377) May 30, 2010, in Chicago – (L, 9-1)
  • (378) May 30, 2010, in Chicago – (L, 9-1)
  • (389) July 25, 2010, in Chicago — L, 4-3
  • (395) August 13, 2010, in Saint-Louis — L, 6-3
  • (396) Aug. 15, 2010, at St. Louis—W, 9-7
  • (408) September 26, 2010, in Chicago — L, 8-7
  • (418) June 3, 2011, in Saint-Louis — L, 6-1
  • (419) June 4, 2011, in Saint-Louis — L, 5-4
  • (420) June 4, 2011, in Saint-Louis — (L, 5-4)
  • (421) June 5, 2011, in Saint-Louis — L, 3-2
  • (432) July 30, 2011, in Chicago — L, 13-5
  • (439) Aug. 21, 2011, at Chicago – L, 6-2
  • (484)* June 4, 2013, in Anaheim — L, 4-3
  • (489) * July 9, 2013, at Chicago – W, 7-2
  • (490) * July 10, 2013, at Chicago – L, 13-2
  • (635) * April 12, 2019, at Chicago–W, 5-1
  • (693) Aug. 22, 2022, at Chicago — L, 1-0
  • (695) September 4, 2022, at Saint-Louis — L, 2-0

*-With the angels.

Click here to subscribe to the Cubs Talk podcast for free.

To download

Download MyTeams today!

Lance B. Holton