Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals were taking on the New York Mets on Wednesday, with Max Scherzer on the mound for New York. Scherzer does many things well. But like so many strikeout pitchers, he can tend to lose focus of runners when they reach base. Particularly, once Scherzer comes set, his next move will almost assuredly be to the plate and there will be little — if any — focus on the runner.
Pujols noticed this and when he reached first base in the fourth inning, took advantage of Scherzer’s lack of attention. Not only did Pujols steal second but he did so without a throw.
This is what peak athleticism looks like. Albert Pujols steals his first base of the season.
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) May 19, 2022
Those in the MLB world were quick to honor the stolen base prowess of the 42-year-old slugger.
An annual tradition like none other https://t.co/d69gcPOhci
— Daniel Green (@TKN951) May 19, 2022
Look at the big fella go!! 😂😂 https://t.co/dNUrhcD1Y2
— Colby Maness (@colbymaness) May 19, 2022
— David Kleinstuber (@DKleinstuber) May 19, 2022
ALBERT WHEELS https://t.co/wWDtSwEUhR
— Brett Wiseman (@broadcastbrett) May 19, 2022
— Connor Lemons (@lemons_connor) May 19, 2022
With the steal, Pujols became the oldest Cardinal to steal a base since another St. Louis icon, Stan Musial.
Albert Pujols (42 years, 122 days) is the oldest Cardinals player to steal a base since Stan Musial (42 years, 258 days) stole a base against the Mets on August 6, 1963) https://t.co/pVqX400SwN
— Jim Passon (@PassonJim) May 19, 2022
While Pujols has always been known for his power, he was a good base stealer at one time. This was Pujols’ 117th career steal and he has reached double-digit stolen base totals three times in his career (16 in 2005 and 2009, 14 in 2010). But those days are long over. The last time Pujols stole even five bases in a season was in 2015.
Fortunately for Scherzer, it didn’t end up being that costly. On the next pitch of the at-bat, Scherzer got Yadier Molina to line out to center field, ending the inning.
But while it didn’t amount to much on the scoreboard, the stolen base will no doubt give Pujols on his former teammate.