Pujols sorry for subpar performance

Published 12:45 am Wednesday, July 15, 2009

ST. LOUIS — Albert Pujols likes to remind people that, despite his spectacular talents, he is human.

The last two days proved it.

The All-Star game carried great expectations for the St. Louis Cardinals’ star, who entered the break with numbers that make him a Triple Crown threat. He received a prolonged standing ovation during player introductions, topped off by chants of ‘‘MVP! MVP!’’

Email newsletter signup

But he set off no fireworks while playing six innings Tuesday night, failing to hit a ball out of the infield in three at-bats and committing a fielding error that led to an unearned run in the American League 4-3 victory.

A lackluster All-Star game for Pujols, coming on heels of a so-so Home Run Derby for the major league’s home runs leader. He was eliminated in the second round Monday night.

Pujols redeemed himself defensively later in the game with a handful of nice plays, one of them saving a run. His best moment probably came before the game, when he made a deft scoop that perhaps saved President Obama from bouncing his ceremonial first pitch.

‘‘What are you talking about?’’ Pujols said. ‘‘He hit the ball right at my glove.’’

Pujols has carried the St. Louis offense all season, leading the majors with 32 home runs and 87 RBIs, with little protection in the lineup.