Wait-And-See Situation With Pujols Injury


At the end of a rain-covered night at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals came out on top, defeating the Cincinnati Reds in the third and final game of the weekend series. Both starters pitched solid games, but Edinson Volquez made one crucial mistake and Jake Westbrook did not. Weskbrook threw six innings of three-hit baseball, delivering a much needed win for St. Louis.

With two outs in the sixth, Yadier Molina crushed a first pitch fastball from Volquez into the left-center seats, giving the Cardinals a three run lead that they would never look back from. Yadi isn’t exactly known for his power, so it was nice to see him come thru in the spotlight with the only RBIs of the game, which was nationally televised on ESPN. Believe it or not, that was just the second homer at home of Molina’s career with more than one runner on base.

After taking two out of three from the rival Reds, the Cards now hold a slim NL Central lead. Maybe this weekend’s success will prove to be an early season turning point for the team. Although Cards fans were sent home happily with a shutout victory on Easter Sunday, there was a scary moment during the game that could have major implications.

Albert Pujols left the game after pulling up lame while running to first base on a ground ball in the seventh inning. He slowed up noticeably due to what is being described as mild left hamstring tightness. The throw to first on the play was actually off line, but Joey Votto had time to make the play and retire Pujols, who grimaced in pain.

Here’s what Albert himself had to say immediately following the game.

"I just felt a little tight, and I just pulled off. I think I prefer it tight than a blown-out hamstring, you know? It’s something that, I have to deal with it. It’s been rough here the last week or so with the rain and all that, and our bodies take a little beating. I think this just all depends how I wake up tomorrow."

I don’t want to jump to any conclusions or make something out of nothing, but this is the best player in baseball that we’re talking about. Obviously, there is going to be some serious concern if he leaves the game. Not to mention, Albert does have somewhat of a history with hamstring problems. Let’s hope that this particular injury is simply a pulled hamstring. If, however, it turns out to be a strain, Pujols could be placed on the DL and miss some significant time.

I’m sure that more details will be released tomorrow and we will get a better sense of the significance of the injury. Like I said, Cards fans have no choice but to hold their breath and wait to see how it all plays out. If worst comes to worst, Lance Berkman could easily be moved to first base and Jon Jay could be inserted into right field.

At least for right now, I don’t think that there’s any reason to get too worked up. It’s a shame to see Pujols go down when his performance was finally starting to go up, but injuries happen. They are part of the game, and they can’t always be avoided.

Looking on the bright side, the Cards do get a day off now. Not only was this past series a big momentum builder for the Cardinals, it was a nice victory for the city of St. Louis, which was heavily damaged by tornadoes just days earlier. If Pujols and the city of St. Louis can recover as quickly as possible, things will be looking good moving forward.