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Honest Question: If You're Facing Albert Pujols Last Day Of The Season At 699, Are You Cooking Him Juicy Meatballs Or Giving Him The Business?

Albert Pujols is at 698 career bombs with just 13 games left in his career and it's quite frankly the coolest milestone race I can remember. 

He's homering every 16.5 plate appearances so 33 trips in the next 13 games puts him right on pace with his 2nd half playing time. All of this tee'd up perfectly for Albert to give us one more preposterous moment. 

But what about the pitchers facing him? 

Quite literally every one of them knows Albert Pujols as one of the greatest players of all time. Decorated and respected and all that shit. 

So now you're facing him in one of his last career plate appearances, history on the line, etc. Are you cooking him a meatball out of respect? Would you feel guilty punching him out last day of the season at 699? I can understand both sides, but ultimately I think Jake came up with the best approach: 

No meatballs down broadway but you're definitely getting a steady diet of heaters all day long. Just a real fluid mix of showing some respect but not completely abandoning the spirit of competition. "You want it, then come and get it." I think that's more than fair without being a complete sandbagger especially considering the precedent. The gentleman's agreement between Synergaard/deGrom and Jake to pump four seamers to each other is astoundingly cool. And I really don't have any better words to use than cool. Just straight up fucking cool to me so no reason it doesn't play here. 

Broader picture though - Albert is definitely going to have his chances to add to the October legacy. All this time and effort talking about 700 home runs while the Cardinals dominated the 2nd half. Best corner infield combo in baseball and one of the best in my life. Hall of famers all over the roster. Five players under 25 years-old that logged 220+ plate appearances and all registered OPS+ above 102 with a 115 average. A manager they love to play for and probably the NL's best relief pitcher. 

Point is I don't think this ends with 700 home runs. It's building towards a bigger story. He's going to pop a couple more down the stretch and then the Cardinals are going to ride it into October. That's why I think they're such a strong sleeper pick to win the NL and the WS at +900 and +2000 respectively. The lineup mixed with the veterans mixed with the magic and momentum. There's a reason people get romantic about baseball and it's because these things matter. I don't know exactly how or why but I do know the baseball gods are very real and it would appear they want Albert to go out with a bang. 

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