Maybe Albert Pujols read the pop quiz post Friday, voted for “Over 1050” and set out to make that a reality. Whatever the reason, he pumped his 2011 OPS up from .746 heading into Friday’s game to .826 following Sunday’s 10th-inning, game-ending, series-sweeping home run.
Yes, that’s an 80-point gain in a mere three contests. That’s what going 6-for-11 with three walks, a hit-by-pitch, four homers, one double, seven RBI and seven runs scored over the weekend will do for a player’s numbers.
Additionally, his OPS+ climbed from 109 to 132.
Had this quiz been posted today instead of Friday, there’s little doubt the voting would have been different. Heck, I cast a vote for “850-950,” but based on this outburst, I’d change to “950-1050” if I had to do it again.
But timing is everything, so here is what The Hardball Times’ readers had to say on the matter:
Pujols' OPS Percentage Below .750 5.3% .750-.850 12.1% .850-.950 56.8% .950-1.050 22.0% Over 1.050 3.8%
It was interesting to see the later votes skew towards the upper categories, perhaps reflecting voters’ awareness as the weekend progressed of the tear Pujols was on. I think it’s safe to say that the five percent of voters who said he would finish below .750 will be eating their words by season’s end, and the other 12 percent choosing .750-.850 will soon be wrong, too.
Even a down season from Pujols is a terrific one. Exactly where this one ends, and how it will impact Pujols’ next contract, will be intriguing to watch.