As foretold, Albert Pujols gets the start at first base for the Dodgers on Tuesday against the Cardinals in St. Louis, one of two expected starts for the future Hall of Famer in the city where he’s enjoyed his greatest baseball exploits.
This will be the first appearance of the series for Pujols, who did not play in Monday afternoon’s series opener. In the last few innings of the Dodgers’ 5-1 win, the chants of “We want Albert” from the Busch Stadium crowd went unrequited.
Pujols bats third on Tuesday, his fourth time hitting in that spot for the Dodgers. Max Muncy gets a planned day off in the middle of an 8-for-60 (.133/.212/.283) slump over his last 16 games.
Pujols 1,378 times batting third in his 11 years with the Cardinals, but wherever he hit, Pujols was a terrifying hitter, hitting .328/.420/.617 with the Cardinals, including .333/.429/.617 in St. Louis in his career.
“I remember it very vividly,” manager Dave Roberts said of Pujols’ time in St. Louis. “For him to come back, he’s revered here and rightfully so.”
In St. Louis, Pujols time with the Cardinals was split between two versions of Busch Stadium. The first five years of his career came in the second iteration of the park, with his final six years with the Cardinals coming in the current Busch Stadium the team plays in today. Despite that relatively short time in the park, Pujols’ 111 home runs are by far the most hit in this stadium, 23 more than anyone else.
Pujols has 205 career home runs in St. Louis. Only Stan Musial, with 252 home runs at home for the Cardinals, has more.
2011 was Pujols’ last season with the Cardinals, and his only time back since was in 2019 with the Angels. He started and had at least one hit in all three games. He got countless standing ovations, and a curtain call after hitting a home run against the Cardinals.
Also starting for the Dodgers is Steven Souza Jr., who was added back to the roster earlier Tuesday, in his second stint with the Dodgers this season. Souza bats seventh in right field, with Mookie Betts getting a scheduled start off.
Corey Knebel is the opener on the mound for the Dodgers on Tuesday.