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Cardinals-Reds: Ryan Ludwick's Big Night Takes Back Seat to Albert Pujols' Calf

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer IJune 10, 2008

Cardinal slugger Ryan Ludwick went 4-for-5 at the dish tonight in a 7-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. However, after the game, Ludwick wasn't talking about his night. The attention was solely on first baseman Albert Pujols' reaggrevation of a left calf.

Running to first base on a ground ball in the seventh inning, Pujols tweaked his calf and fell to the ground—a grave sign for Cardinals fans.

Manager Tony LaRussa said in a postgame interview that "there is no way he [Pujols] won't go on the disabled list."

This is very worrisome, as it now marks the second DL move of the week for St. Louis, after starting pitcher Adam Wainwright was placed on the 15-day DL.

The Cardinals have proved that they can win without a full staff before, but losing Pujols is an enormous loss. Pujols, when healthy, is arguably the best player in the MLB.

The silver lining in this game is that Ludwick got back on track. He was in a slump, but found his groove tonight. Also, spot starter Mitchell Boggs put together a fine performance, allowing only two runs in five innings. Those kind of starts will be essential for the Cardinals to keep in contention with nine players on the disabled list.

With the Chicago Cubs winning at an alarming rate, the Cardinals are going to have to rely on players to step up in the absence of stars Wainwright and Pujols.

Hopefully, tomorrow night the Cardinals can get another series victory in Cincinnati before heading home to face the sizzling Philadelphia Phillies.

All eyes, however, will be on Pujols' injury, in the hopes that he gets better quickly.

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