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Scat, Albert

OK, so I finally figured out why the Mets built a ballpark with these dimensions.

They wanted to make the place Pujols-proof.

And you thought Chipper Jones was the greatest Shea Stadium hitter of all-time. Check out Albert Pujols' regular-season numbers there.

BA- .365
HR- 9
RBI- 21
At-Bats- 96

Among those who had at least 100 plate appearances at Shea Stadium, here's where Pujols stands:

Batting Average: 3rd (.365)
On-Base Percentage: 3rd (.455)
Slugging Percentage: 1st (.719)

Pujols might be one of the few players in the history of Shea Stadium who actually performed better against the Mets there than in his home ballpark. In the Busch's against the Mets, Pujols' numbers are a bit more pedestrian:

BA- .275
HR- 8
RBI- 30
OBP- .355
Slugging Pct- 578
AB-109

Pujols enters the series at Citi Field off a weekend series in which he had 10 RBI (he's hitting .400 in KC, a ballpark he likes better than Shea). He's got 26 RBI in 20 games this month. In his last nine starts, Pujols has eight home runs. The guy doesn't hit balls that barely clear either. Every home run I can recall him hitting in Flushing has been a no-doubter.

Meanwhile, the Mets go into this series with depleted everything. Monday, Pujols will face Tim Redding Monday, against whom he's 11-for-27 with 5 doubles and a homer. On Tuesday, he gets Livan Hernandez (.344 batting average, 3 home runs).

On the bright side: He can't hit a walk-off home run against the Mets this week.

There are very few times that I would endorse such a strategy, but given the state of the Mets, and the state of the Cardinals best player, the data would seem to indicate that pooh-poohing the idea of pitching to Pujols may not be such a bad idea.

True Metjols know...Albert Pujols has more game-ending home runs (7) than game-ending strikeouts (6). The last time Pujols struck out to end a game was June 8, 2007 against the Angels. The pitcher who whiffed him? Francisco Rodriguez.

And for those looking to help a good cause:

“An Afternoon with Ron Darling: A Benefit for Urban Dove” is priced at $75 per person, and includes a three course Power Lunch featuring Gallagher’s Certified Angus Beef steak as the entree, a copy of Darling’s book “The Complete Game,” and an autograph and Q & A session. Seating is limited, and for reservations contact Gallagher’s at 212.245.5336. Darling’s teammate, pitcher Bobby Ojeda, SNY’s Mets studio analyst, will be a special guest. Gallagher’s is located at 228 West 52nd Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, in Manhattan’s Theater District.

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