The worst job in baseball is being a pitcher who is forced to throw Albert Pujols a strike.
And when Cubs hurler David Patton saw Pujols at the dish with the bases loaded in a close game, that's exactly the task he was assigned. Three seconds and 450 feet later, the Cardinals were up 7-1 and the Chicago fans were go, Cubs, going toward the exits.
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The hit was significant not just in the standinds, but in the record book as well. The four runs driven in hurdled Pujols over the 1,000 mark for his career, making him only the sixth Cardinals player to break that barrier. He now stands at 1,002.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Mitchell Boggs. What? Did I forget about Pujols' granny already? No. But it seemed like everyone I talked to on my way to the game remarked that the Redbirds had no chance with the young starter on the mound against the powerful Wee Bears. The result, 5 2/3 innings pitcher, six hits, one earned run, three strikeouts and one walk. That's clutch.
Lowlight: The Cardinals first run surrendered came on an easy grounder from Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall to third sacker Brian Barden. Even though Marshall was jogging down the line, Barden goosed the throw and brought the top of the lineup to the plate for Boggs to contend with. Not cool.