Almost everyone greeted the news that Albert Pujols broke his arm and wouldn't play in this series against the Phillies (or, for that matter, against anyone for the next 4 to 6 weeks) as a good thing for the Phillies. Sure, no one wants a player to be injured, especially a talent as once-in-a-sport as Pujols, but if he's going to be injured, might as well have him injured against your team, right?
Well, not necessarily. What was absent from reactions to Pujols missing this series was any look at how Pujols has done against the Phillies in his career. And, despite what we see on ESPN highlights every other night of the year, when we watch Pujols play our team, we see nothing that special.
Pujols not special? How can I say that? A simple look at his career splits makes my case quite conclusively. Consider these rankings for Pujols when he plays the Phillies (with the worst being 15th, because there are 15 non-Cardinals National League teams):
BA: 15th (.270)
OBP: 15th (.350)
SLG: 15th (.480)
OPS: 15th (.829)
tOPS+: 15th (60)
HR: t-14th (12)
In other words, Pujols is at his absolute worst against the Phillies. And, when you look at the entire chart (below the fold), it's not even close. His tOPS+ (his OPS for that particular team relative to his overall OPS) against the Phillies is 22 points lower than against the next worst team -- 82 against the Marlins.
Don't get me wrong. As I said at the start of this entry, Pujols is a talent we'll all be telling our grandchildren about. But, when we tell those stories, we'll just conveniently leave out his performance against the Phillies.
|San Diego Padres||71||20||0.333||0.431||0.636||1.067||105|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||67||17||0.310||0.430||0.595||1.025||98|
|New York Mets||65||19||0.309||0.401||0.613||1.014||94|
|San Francisco Giants||65||14||0.326||0.418||0.545||0.964||87|