Pujols, Molina, four homers lead Cards to 11-6 win


The Cardinals opened the 2010 season with a bang. Albert Pujols reminded everyone why he is the best player in baseball and made St. Louis fans forget about that contract negotiation issue. It’s time to play baseball now. Nothing else matters. And play baseball the Cards did.

Pujols got the party started in his first at bat of 2010 with a blast over the left centerfield wall. I mean, we all know he’s great and nothing should surprise us, but that’s pretty impressive. Pujols and Co. kept their collective foot on the pedal the rest of the afternoon to thump the Reds 11-6. Albert hit another home run in the seventh and had two singles to finish his day 4 for 5. His four hits match a club record for hits on Opening Day.

That wasn’t the only record performance of the day. St. Louis hit four home runs to set the team record for Opening Day, too. Along with Pujols’ two, Colby Rasmus and Yadier Molina went yard. Molina’s was a grand slam in the ninth inning, adding to the list of rarities on this day. He became the third Cardinals player to hit a grand slam on Opening Day. The other two? Scott Rolen, who also homered today for the Reds, and Mark McGwire, who watched proudly from the bench as his “students” made him look good. Molina’s home run was the perfect ending to the day at the plate for St. Louis. Albert started with fireworks and Yadi ended with some more.

And oh yeah, Chris Carpenter got the win — pitching six innings and giving up two earned. His solid performance was an afterthought in a game ruled by the Cards sluggers. I’m sure the ace doesn’t mind the help. He’ll have plenty of starts to take center stage.

And Pujols will likely be in the spotlight all season. It looks like another year of dominance for No. 5. The Machine is up and running again and baseball is already watching in awe.