Albert Pujols has created such expectations that merely being great seems to be a bit of a let down. Last night against the Dodgers, Pujols struck out three times in four at bats. How many times has that happened in his career? Yes, he has 14 home runs and has driven in 44. Yes, he leads the league in walks. But he appears more human his year...less automatic.
His current OPS, if it were to hold up, would be the second lowest of his career. Of course, the flip side is that the OPS is sitting at .980, which is still incredible. He is on pace to score 93 runs. He's never scored less than 99. To be sure, all this is really stupid to be talking about because Albert Pujols has been about as good as a player can possible be. It's not like you have to worry about this guy.
But still, the strikeouts are a bit troubling. Historically, Pujols has struck out only 9% of his plate appearances. This year, the rate is at almost 12%. It's almost as if pitchers around the league have discovered the smallest of Achilles Heel in the great slugger. But just like that Greek legend, they better hit that small target with precision or Pujols will kill you.