Sunday Morning Coffee with Ray Mileur

Albert Pujols hit his 31st home run of the season Saturday to help propel the Cardinals to a 5-3 win over the Marlins.

The Cardinals may not be in the pennant race, or even have a decent shot for making it into the postseason, but don't look for any quit in Albert Pujols.

Pujols hit his 31st home run of the season in the first off Scott Olsen to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. He also scored the eventual winning run and made two impressive defensive plays, including scooping third baseman Troy Glaus' low throw to end the game.

After the game, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa told reporters, that he has no doubt that Pujols, hitting .464 since August 15, should receive numerous postseason awards. The manager is lobbying for at least a Gold Glove and possibly the MVP award.

Starter Todd Wellemeyer pitched a career high eight innings, giving up five hits and striking out seven to pick up the win, improving to 12-6 on the season.

Veteran reliever Ryan Franklin got the final two outs to record his 15th save on the season.

NOTES AND QUOTES

...Todd Wellemeyer threw a career-high 119 pitches. .He is 4-2 in his last nine starts with a 2.83 ERA.

...Albert Pujols' home run marked his 50th at new Busch Stadium.

...Rule 5 outfielder, Brian Barton is eligible to return to active duty from the DL as early as Tuesday. Barton is hoping to be activated, though it is likely the Cardinals will take their time, before making the decision, given the potential for oblique injuries to linger.

...Club 300, Troy Glaus hit his 300th career homer on Wed., ranking 19th among active players

...JONES & ADDITON TAKE AUGUST HONORS: OF Daryl Jones (3rd rd., 2005) and LHP Nick Additon (47th rd., 2006) were named the Cardinals Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month respectively for August.

Daryl Jones batted. 319 with 5 HR & 12 RBI for Springfield (AA) while sporting a .441 OBP.

Nick Additon went 3-1, 1.69 ERA in 5 starts between Quad Cities (A) and Palm Beach (A), including a complete-game shutout.

...30-30 Club, the Cardinals bulllpen has 30 blown saves and 30 losses this season, that isn't good.

COMING UP

Adam Wainwright makes his 17th start of the season Sunday and 4th since coming off the DL on 8/22 (sprained rt. middle finger). Wainwright improved to 8-3 with an 8-2 win at Arizona last Tuesday (9/2), allowing one run in 5.1 IP while striking out seven, looking like the Adam Wainwright of old. It would have been a different season, with Wainwright in the rotation for the entire season.

The Cardinals have basically no margin for error, down the stretch, something that we have talked about most of the season, today they will try to go for their second straight win for the first time in more than two weeks.


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