Now this is what you like to see. Albert Pujols, immersed in controversy, steaming mad and clouting homers. The Cardinals ripping up the NL Central despite preseason predictions of Epic Fail. Tony La Russa, legally sober according to state law. On Wednesday, Pujols — perhaps angered by this post — exited his slump by blasting two homers as the Cardinals beat Houston 6-4 to win their third straight series. He's The Big Poo!
Apparently there was some sort of pregame argument between Pujols and Houston's Brandon Backe, and that did not spell good news for the Astros. Although Pujols downplayed it. "No matter who gets me mad or doesn't get me mad, I'm going to go out there and play the game the right way every time,'' he said. From AP: "The exchange lasted a few minutes. It involved yelling and ended with Astros manager Cecil Cooper putting his arm across Backe and guiding him away from Pujols. It apparently was over Pujols sliding into Astros catcher J.R. Towles in the eighth inning of the Cardinals' win over the Astros on Tuesday, an event Pujols had already apologized to Towles for." Pujols also had a run-scoring single and Rick Ankiel had two RBI. It was Pujols' first homers of the season. Bradon Looooooper! allowed five hits and three runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out four. St. Louis is 7-2 in the Central, a half-game up on the second-place Brewers.
• Tigers Win! Tigers Win! Cigarettes for everyone! After scoring only 15 runs during an 0-7 start, Detroit rolled several runs off the assembly line to beat the Red Sox 7-2. Marcus Thames and Carlos Guillen homered, Edgar Renteria had three hits and Ivan Rodriguez got the 2,500th hit of his career for the Tigers, who also drew eight walks. Well, that helps.
• And Now Even The Mets Are Winning. The Mets beat the Phillies? Must be some sort of mixup. Of course, Philly was playing without Jimmy Rollins, but New York still broke a nine-game losing streak to their hated rival, winning 8-2. Eric Bruntlett and his Magic Fingers made two errors at short — he was filling in for the injured Rollins — and Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick walked six in the first two innings. The paradoxically named Angel Pagan had a two-run double for the Mets.
• Taste The Rockies. Oh Braves, your pitching is so good. Yorvit Torrealba had a three-run homer in a six-run third as the Rockies won their third straight, 12-6. Atlanta used three pitchers; two with ERAs of more than 15.00.
• Now What's Going On Here? Hard to imagine any kid taking a hard line on trading his Zack Greinke baseball cards, but that's the way it could be shaping up. It's Greinke Fever! He threw eight scoreless innings to lead the Royals to a 4-0 win over the Yankees, improving to 2-0 with an 0.60 ERA. KC (6-2) leads the Central Division. Baltimore (AL East) and Florida (NL East) are also in first, in case you are asked.