Cardinals-Cubs: Albert Pujols Blasts into the Record Books in Grand Style

Derek CoffeltSenior Analyst IApril 25, 2009

He's simply the best I've seen, and that is no exaggeration.

Albert Pujols lead the way once again as the Cardinals beat their long time rivals, the Chicago Cubs 8-2 on Saturday.

If I was there to see what Pujols did, I would have tipped my cap to him as well. "El Hombre" hit his second grand slam of the year literally out of Busch Stadium.

The official measurement was 441 feet, but I still think it hasn't landed yet.

The moonshot Pujols hit over the left field fence elevated him past 1,000 career RBIs. He became the 23rd active player in the majors to achieve such a goal. He not only went into the MLB record books, but St. Louis' as well as he moved into fifth place on the Cardinals' all-time RBI list.

Platoon infielder Brian Barden and shortstop Khalil Greene provided the rest of the offense, as they went for a combined 5-for-7 with three RBI and three runs scored.

All of this offense was in support of Mitchell Boggs. With Chris Carpenter down for an extended period of time with an oblique tear, P.J. Walters and Boggs have been called upon to try and fill the big man's cleats.

Walters had a decent outing in his only start but was rocked in his first relief appearance.

It was clear that he was not the answer.

Enter Mitchell Boggs.

Starting in a big time game against the Cubs for his first start of the 2009 season, Boggs allowed one unearned run on six hits in 5 2/3 innings of work.

Boggs stated that he felt as if he truly belonged in Cardinal red.

"I feel a lot more confident about myself right now," said Boggs. "I feel more comfortable around here. These guys have accepted me. Last year, they were great teammates, too, but this year, I just feel like I belong here. If I do the things that I am capable of doing, I know I can help this team win."

The only trouble Boggs ran into was in the fifth inning when Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome both hit singles in the inning. With runners on the bases, the always dangerous Alfonso Soriano stepped up to the plate.

Soriano had already did his damage to the Cardinals when St. Louis visited the Cubs in Chicago earlier this year. He consequently hammered a slider that was capped off as a two-run round-tripper.

Chris Perez was the guilty party on that day.

Boggs apparently shrugged off the pressure as he got the veteran outfielder to swing and miss on three straight sliders to stop a potentially disastrous scenario.

Despite Boggs making Soriano look like a minor leaguer at the plate, he knew just how much of a slugger he is.

"He's as dangerous a hitter as there is in Major League Baseball," said Boggs. "He hits every pitch. He doesn't have a weakness. What I had going for me is that he was really aggressive and I was able to make some pitches down. He was trying to change the game and I was fortunate enough that he went after a couple."

Fellow battery mate and catcher Yadier Molina has seen the good deal of progression in Boggs.

"He has more experience, no doubt," said Molina. "And it shows. He looks like he has a lot more experience and a lot more confidence. He kept the ball down. He pitched pretty good."

Boggs' skipper Tony La Russa also acknowledged how valuable a pitcher he has been.

"He's got the things that you look for," said La Russa. "He's got enough talent. Everybody that has ever had him in the Minor Leagues always talks about how tough he competes."

Mitchell Boggs certainly has impressed thus far. The question remains can he keep this momentum going in his next inevitable start.

St. Louis is now 13-5 and tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors.

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