Life without Albert Pujols begins Tuesday for the St. Louis Cardinals, and it just so happens they face the Phillies for three games.
The superstar Pujols will miss four to six weeks with a broken bone in his forearm, according to the team. It’s yet another crushing blow to St. Louis, which has withstood its share of injuries to star players to still post a 40-33 record, tied for first in the National League Central.
Pujols was injured Sunday in a collision at first base. He reached for a throw, and Kansas City’s Wilson Betemit crashed into the slugger’s wrist. Pujols has been on the disabled list only twice before.
Pujols, who is a free agent at season’s end, is not having the monster season that the rest of baseball has grown accustomed. He is hitting .279 with a .855 OPS — both of which would rank as career lows. He has hit 17 home runs.
The Phillies, of course, have somehow managed to limit Pujols when they have faced him. His career batting average of .270, .829 OPS and 12 home runs are the lowest against any National League opponent.
St. Louis has already swept a two-game series from the Phillies at Busch Stadium. Lance Berkman is expected to assume the majority of at-bats for Pujols at first base, but that creates a hole in the Cardinals outfield.
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