What’s up fam, I’m filling in for Mr. Pants this week, and what a weekend to do it… Albert Pujols became just the fourth person ever to hit 700 HR at the big league level. Truly a remarkable feat. What’s even more remarkable is that he nearly died on the vine outside of the walls of Busch Stadium before returning this year and finding life again. At the beginning of this year, it really seemed like this was going to be a fool’s errand. I admit I didn’t think he much left in the tank. And he didn’t, until returning to the fountain of youth that the Cardinals hide in their locker room. What are they even doing there? Like look at his rolling wOBA graph here:

He hasn’t sniffed this kind of production since 2015, and you have to go back his last year in St Louis to find anything better. It’s like he put back on his old Cardinals jersey and everything came rushing back. Last night Pujols recaptured some of that magic (while batting 2nd!) and went 2-4 with 2 HR (career 699, 700), 2 R, 5 RBI, and now batting .265 for the season as the Cardinals routed the Dodgers 11-0. It’s almost magical enough to make you forget he filed for divorce from his wife days after she had brain surgery for a tumor. Almost.

Here’s what else I saw in baseball Friday night:

Jose Quintana – 6.2 IP 5 hits 6 Ks, W, season ERA at 3.03. Another player reliving past glory, f’ing Quintana can throw. He’s having a truly wild season that harkens to years past in Chicago. It was already good when he started in Pittsburg, but since the trade deadline, he has a 2.14 ERA with the Cards. What are they putting in the water there?

Lars Nootbaar – 3-5, R, 3 RBI. After a rather brutal stretch, Lars has hits in back-to-back games. He might be getting hot again.

Juan Yepez – 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. He’s finally back and healthy. I’d be interested if Pujols wasn’t the king of the roster now, probably not going to see consistent playing time until next year. Unless Pujols announces he’s returning for his final-final season.

Evan Longoria – 3-5, RBI. Back in the lineup just in time to help you win your league. Maybe.

David Villar – 1-4, HR, R, RBI. Grey told you to buy him last Friday and though this is the only HR of the week, he’s given a nice helping of RBIs.

Brandon Crawford – 1-4, HR, R, RBI. Man, he sure got derailed by injury this year too. Feels like half of the Giants roster has been on the IL all season.

Stone Garrett – 2-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, hitting .317 since being called up. Doesn’t feel like it though.

Chris Bassitt – 8 IP, 6 hits, 2 ER, BB, 2 Ks, W. After a bit of a rough start, he rounded into form nicely with a 3.27 ERA but his K has dipped a bit this season. Throw me a fricken bone here (for a swing and miss).

Pete Alonso – 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB. Pete has really put together a nice season despite losing the Home Run Derby and I think we can go ahead and pencil him down for 80/37/100/.260 each year as a baseline with some power upside. I love him.

Eduardo Escobar – 1-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI as he hit a grand slam. After a pretty awful season at the plate, he’s come on late to try and salvage 10th place for all those abandoned teams that still had him on their rosters from the draft. So considerate!

Mark Vientos – 2-3, 2 RBI. Grey told you to pick him up this week!

Brady Singer – 7 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 Ks, W. ERA is now at 2.99. He has quietly had a really impressive season as the #40 SP on the player rater just below Joe Ryan.

MJ Melendez – 2-4, R, RBI. It will be really interesting next when we have to decide what to do with the shift ban. Some guys have a bit more chance at an AVG bump with some more pull-side singles, especially for lefties. MJ seems like one of those who might benefit.

Bobby Witt Jr – 1-4, R, RBI. Debating where I want to take him for next year’s drafts. Seems like a good turn pick, similar to Bichette last year.

Vinnie Pasquantino – 2-4, 2 RBI. I’m very interested in cousin Vinny as a late corner man next year. I hear he drinks protein. We need protein!

Cal Raleigh – 1-3, R, HR, RBI. His 24th of the season. There’s always one catcher that comes out of nowhere to produce a top 10 season. This yeah Cal wore his Raleigh cap.

Lucas Giolito – 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, BB, 9 Ks. ERA now sits at 5.05. Has any pitcher disappointed more this year than Giolitio? Asking for a friend.

Elvis Andrus – 2-5. I don’t know what’s gotten into him since the pickup, but I think the White Sox gave him an injection of Tim Anderson’s “gamer” genes. Only this one came without the side chick.

AJ Pollock – 1-3, R, HR, RBI. Meanwhile, AJ Pollock also continues his assault on pitchers in the second half. That’s his 9th home run since the ASB; well, I guess he’s not assaulting “that” much, maybe just a misdemeanor.

Jonathan Schoop – 1-4 R, HR, RBI. Schoop there it is!

Eric Haase – 2-4, RBI. Surprisingly he’s actually hitting a respectable .251 on the season.

Cody Morris – 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, W. Good showing in Arlington. The ball has been flying outta there lately with the roof open.

Jon Gray – 5 IP, 1 Hit, 1 K. Gray had a good thing going until he was relieved by Taylor Hearn (0.1 IP, 6 hits, 5 ER). I wouldn’t call that relief at all. That’s torture. Dream catcher to dream crusher.

Adolis Garcia – 1-3, R, SB. He’s had a spectacular year and now seals a 25/25/.250. *chef kiss*

Josh Naylor – 1-3, R, RBI. Another guy with a quiet, productive year despite getting COVID in the middle and starting a bit late. I’m going to have my eye out for him as my OF5 next year. Seems like he’s close to taking the Santander step by just having a full season.

Jeffrey Springs – 5 IP 3 ER 6 K, he was cruising until the 5th inning. I had this blurb already written and then he lost control, bleh. Still like him a lot for next season! Deep dive here.

Randy Arozarena – 2-5, R, HR, 6 RBI. I love Rice Bowl so much and that seals another 20/20 season for him.

Wander Franco – 2-4, 2 R. What could have been… *tear* there’s always next year.

Dean Kremer – 9 IP, 4 hits, 2 BB, 6K CGSO W… swokdljhkshg, of course, he throws a complete game shutout against the Astros the week after I suggested him against the Gnats, here. Process over results, right? Oi. I still like him in the right matchups but Os have a rough road to finish the season.

Adley Rutschman – 3-3 2R, HR, 2RBI. He’s looked as good as advertised. Sadly, I’m probably not going to have a share at his ridiculous price next season. Sadly Rutschman.

Cedric Mullins – 1-4 R, 2RBI, hitting .262. He came back down to earth this season and 2021 is looking like an outlier as his OPS looks about identical to his 2020. The speed is real though.

Jorge Mateo – 1-2, 2 SB. His speed is too.

Josiah Gray – 6 IP 4 ER, I keep waiting for this guy to put it together but ever since going east it’s like the dodgers’ magic pitching pixie dust wore off like when Peter Pan grew up in Hook.

Braxton Garrett – 6 IP 1 ER 6k, I like this kid, was the 7th overall pick in 2016 but hasn’t quite found his stride yet. 30%+ sliders might be the path though, lol.

Garrett Cooper – 2-3 R, RBI. Hot schmotato stays hot.

Joey Meneses – 1-4 RBI, hitting .324. I love this guy so much and rescued my Joey Votto team at 1B. He just keeps hitting. So far a 49% hard-hit rate and power to all fields.

Lane Thomas – 1-4 HR, quietly had a decent season too with 17 HR 7 SB. Bit streaky though.

Gerrit Cole – 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 K. He’s given up 31 HR this year, 2 last night. Ouch.

Gleyber Torres – 1-3, 2 RBI. Hot Schmotato stays hot.

Aaron Judge – 1-4, no HR.

Tommy Pham (1-4, HR) and Alex Verdugo (2-4, HR, 3 RBI) each with 1 more HR than Judge had. Just saying.

Aaron Nola – 6 IP, 4 hits, 3 BB, 8 K, W. Has anyone had worse win luck this year than Nola? He’s now 10-12 but has pitched a lot better than that.

Rhys Hoskins – 3-4, R, HR, 4 RBI. His 29th homer, and hitting .250, so a pretty decent rebound season for him and especially nice for the draft price this year.

Alec Bohm – 3-4, 2 R, RBI. Amazing, all you have to do is tell Philly to go f*** itself and you can turn your season around and reach the same heights as Jame Loney.

Andrew McCutchen – 1-4, R, 3 RBI as he reached 69 for the season passing 1000 for his career. Nice!

Kolten Wong – 2-5, R. Hot Schmotato stays hot.

Shohei Ohtani – 5 IP, 2 ER, 7 K. 1-4, RBI. Hmmm, seems like something an MVP would do. Oh btw, he’s got the fastest sprint speed in the majors to first base too! LMAO he’s not a real person. And yet, he is.

Mike Trout – 1-3, RBI. Will be interesting to see where falls in drafts this next year.

Taylor Ward – 2-4, 2 HR. Hitting .274 on the season and now has 21 HR. Seems to be hot again going 12/29 in the last 7 days with 3 HR. Finally seems to be over that shoulder injury from crashing into the wall that derailed his own MVP campaign. I’m only half joking. Well, maybe 2/3.

Juan Soto – 2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI. He hit a home run! What a horrendous season, even after the trade. bleh.

Welp, thanks for joining me for the Friday roundup, and enjoy your weekend!

If you want more Coolwhip to top off your baseball experience, fantasy or otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter: @CoolwhipRB.