(The original poem - Casey At The Bat)
(The inspiration for this - Jayson Stark)
(The game - 10/17, Cards 5, Astros 4)
Pujols At The Bat
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 then when Luna struck out hard, and Mabry did the same,
A crazy cheering started from the patrons of the game.
The Astros needed just one out to be the NL champs;
The stadium erupted more in waves of claps and stamps.
LaRussa knew if Pujols could but get a whack at that--
They still might have a chance to score with Pujols at the bat.
But X preceded Pujols, and Jim Edmonds did as well;
And the former was a midget and the latter was a kvell.
So upon that rooting multitude high confidences sat
For there seemed but little chance of Pujols getting up to bat.
But Eckstein hit a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Edmonds, with great patience, didn't swing at the fourth ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the perfect save had burst,
There was Eckstein poised at second as Jim Edmonds walked to first.
Then forty thousand throats and more had sudd'nly ceased to cheer;
The silence filled the outfield, it smothered fans with fear;
It hushed upon the dugouts and recoiled upon the flat,
For Pujols, Albert Pujols, was advancing to the bat.
There was ease in Albert's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Albert's bearing, but no smile upon his face.
And as he stepped into the box, eyes narrowed like a cat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Pujols at the bat.
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Pujols stood a-watching it for a split second there.
He swung wild at the slider, but his form had briefly fled,
"That pitch was tough," thought Pujols. "Strike one," the umpire said.
"YES!" cried the maddened thousands, and it echoed out abroad;
But one stoic look from Pujols and the audience was awed.
They saw him start to concentrate, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Pujols wouldn't let that ball go by again.
He tenses up his upper arms, he starts to shift his weight;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now Brad Lidge winds up the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by a Pujols crushing blow.
The ball rose up into the air, it seemed 'twould never land;
And all the crowd was silent as it flew over the stand.
The players ran the bases, the ball soared in its arc
It hit the glassy outer wall, high up above the park.
Oh, somewhere in this southern state the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere fans are cheering, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Houston - Mighty Pujols slammed one out.