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Pujols At The Bat

I wrote this the day after Albert's shot off of Brad Lidge in the 2005 NLCS. Just wanted to have it up somewhere I could find it.
The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Cardinal nine that day
The score stood four to two with but one inning more to play
And so, when J-Rod went down on strikes and Mabry did the same
A pallor wreathed the features of the fans of Redbird fame.

A straggling few turned off the tube, the rest
Clung to the hope that springs eternal in the human breast
They thought, "If only Pujols could get a whack, at that
We'd put up even money now, with Pujols at the bat."

But Eck preceded Pujols, and so did Jimmy E,
The former was a pipsqueak and the latter one for three.
So upon that stricken multitude a death-like silence sat.
With Lidge there seemed but little chance of Pujols getting to the bat.

But Eck bounced a single when he only had one strike more
And Edmonds, the streaky slugger, then went and took ball four.
So when the dust had settled, oh what a sight to see!
There was Eckstein safe at second, and on first was Jimmy E.

Then all across Cardinal Nation there arose a joyous yell
It rumbled in the mountaintops, it rattled in the dell.
It rolled against Busch Stadium and recoiled to where Walt sat
For Pujols, mighty Pujols, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Pujols' manner as he stepped up to the plate.
There was pride in Pujols' bearing, and focus upon his face.
And when, with panic building, Houston fans started sounding flat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt, twas Pujols at the bat.

All Cardinal eyes were on him as he knelt upon the dirt
Praying for the strength to on that baseball put a hurt.
And as the writhing pitcher got a visit on the mound
There was a noticeable drop in the level of the sound.

And now the leather-covered sphere comes hurtling through the air
And Pujols took a rip at it, missing it with inches to spare
A slider from the closer Lidge had been the pitch he missed
A groan went up from St. Louis, Houston cheered and hissed.

From the benches, black with people, came decibels of sound
As the Astros looked to be moving to the next round.
And now Lidge holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Pujols' blow.

Oh all across Cardinal Nation, the sun is shining bright
Bands are playing somewhere, and all the hearts are light
So many men are laughing and telling their children of the sight,
Because Albert Pujols hit the baseball long into the Texas night.





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