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Cards save a little face, avoid sweep by Cubs

The Cardinals managed to end a devastating road trip on a positive note Sunday with a home run-fueled win over the Cubs on a game televised nationally on ESPN.

But I don't feel much better about a 2-4 road trip to Pittsburgh and Chicago than I would have about a 1-5 trip.

It seems that the Cardinals have fumbled away any chance they had to make a playoff run. And at this point they are playing for little more than pride.

Albert Pujols was 4-for-5 with a homer to push his season line to .289, 31HR, 77RBI. While we waited all season for him to get hot, it seems to have finally happened. Pujols is batting .348 over the last two weeks and .337 over the last month. He'll have to push hard to get to 100 RBIs. But, he's on a pace for 98, so if he stays healthy and stays hot, he's got a decent chance to do it. He's also threatening the 40 homer mark, on a pace for 39.5.

Not a bad season for a bad season: .290ish, 40HR, 98RBIs. I wonder if the Cubs fans who sat in the Wrigley Field grandstand wearing their custom made Pujols Cubs jerseys still have the warm and fuzzies about Pujols hugging Jim Hendry during a visit to Chicago in May... 

Matt Holliday was 3-for-5 Sunday and stands at .309/18/64. He's on a pace for 23 homers and 82 batted in after spending two stints of more than a week and a half on the shelf.

Jon Jay was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI. He's pushed his batting average to .299 after a short swoon following the trade of Colby Rasmus. He also made a couple of great catches in the outfield.

Yadier Molina was 2-for-4 with a pair of homers to push his season line to .296/11/48. It's the first time in his eight major league seasons that Molina has hit double figures in round trippers. Pretty good numbers for a catcher. I remember when we all swallowed hard when Mike Matheny sank down to the .215 mark because he was such a good catcher that you had to put up with his lack of offensive production. But Molina is a pretty darn good clutch bat and a pretty good overall hitter for a catcher. And he's just as good as Matheny or maybe slightly better behind the plate.

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