With his recent burst, it seems certain Pujols will extend his own record. In his first eight big-league seasons, he will hit at least .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs each year.
"There's nobody in baseball that's better than the guy who plays first base for us," said manager Tony La Russa. "And I mean nobody.
"And the great majority of the people in uniform in this game, and the scouts, agree with that."
The Cardinals have to hope Pujols stays hot. They play their most important two games of the season Tuesday and Wednesday night at home against the Brewers. The Cardinals trail the Brewers by 3 1/2 games in the wild-card race, and these are the last two times the teams will meet this season.
NOTES AND QUOTES:
--RHP Todd Wellemeyer and RHP Adam Wainwright will pitch the two games of the Milwaukee series, but manager Tony La Russa hasn't announced his plans for the rest of the week. The Cardinals have a three-game series in Houston this weekend. RHPs Kyle Lohse and Braden Looper are expected to pitch two of the games, but the order is not certain.
--The Cardinals and Milwaukee are done for the year after this week's two-game series. The Cardinals are only 4-9 against the Brewers and were swept in a four-game series by the Brewers last month at Busch Stadium.
--OF Joe Mather, a right-handed hitter, is expected to play against left-handed pitching, including Wednesday when the Cardinals face Milwaukee LHP Manny Parra. Left-handed-hitting OFs Skip Schumaker and Rick Ankiel are hitting .171 and .226, respectively, against lefties.
--Of the Cardinals' remaining 30 games, 21 are against teams with records over .500. That leaves only six games against Cincinnati and three against Pittsburgh. By contrast, the Brewers have 16 games remaining against sub-.500 teams and 15 against teams over .500.
--1B Albert Pujols was 8-for-10 over the weekend. With his recent burst, it seems certain Pujols will extend his own record. In his first eight big-league seasons, he will hit at least .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs each year.
BY THE NUMBERS: 293 -- Number of saves with which RH reliever Jason Isringhausen, out for the season with a torn tendon near his right elbow, will finish the season.