Home Run Derby: Prince Outperforms Pujols

Brian McDowellCorrespondent IJuly 13, 2009

ST LOUIS, MO - JULY 13:  National League All-Star Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals competes in the second round of the State Farm Home Run Derby at Busch Stadium on July 13, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Obviously, with St. Louis hosting all of the All-Star festivities, this week is going to be a love-fest for the amazing Albert Pujols. However, tonight, the tired looking Cardinals' slugger missed his chance to win the Home Run Derby in his home stadium.

Pujols did advance to the second round, after winning a five out tiebreaker, and did manage to finish a semi-respectable fourth place. However, he was bested by hometown hero Ryan Howard, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, and the eventual winner of the event Prince Fielder. Both Fielder and Cruz hit some amazing shots that were surely the hardest hit balls ever produced within the friendly confines of Busch Stadium. Pujols's heavily promoted appearance in this exhibition suffered by comparison. He looked tired, and seemed unable to compete at his usual level of intensity.

Hopefully, Pujols's performance in tomorrow night's All Star game will go a little bit further to justify all of the accolades being thrown in his direction.