Albert Pujols: 35 Games at a Time

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after striking out to end the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 4, 2012 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Thanks to the new and improved Game Logs feature on FanGraphs, it's now amazingly easy to extract game by game data for a player, including wonderful peripherals. The first bit of data I wanted to examine closer is some context into exactly how badly Albert Pujols is struggling compared to the rest of his career.

After exporting his entire career game log, I grouped the data into 35 game sections or the entirety of what he's played in 2012. I made sure each range of 35 games was contained within a single year and did not last more than 40 calendar days so that an injury in the middle of a stretch wouldn't be included. Over his 11+ year career he's had 933 such 35 game periods as during a season several will overlap as the rolling 35 games adds a new game at the end and drops off one at the beginning.

The table below lists Albert's worst 35 game period for each season by OPS:

Year Start End G PA AVG OBP SLG OPS ISO
2001 05/30/2001 07/08/2001 35 146 .273 .345 .469 .814 .195
2002 04/25/2002 06/04/2002 35 152 .271 .362 .474 .836 .203
2003 06/30/2003 08/08/2003 35 151 .323 .411 .585 .995 .262
2004 04/10/2004 05/19/2004 35 155 .269 .361 .478 .839 .209
2005 05/10/2005 06/17/2005 35 151 .313 .397 .519 .916 .206
2006 07/24/2006 09/01/2006 35 151 .294 .358 .537 .894 .243
2007 04/06/2007 05/16/2007 35 153 .256 .346 .429 .775 .173
2008 06/27/2008 08/05/2008 35 157 .321 .401 .542 .943 .221
2009 07/19/2009 08/27/2009 35 158 .275 .399 .489 .887 .214
2010 04/16/2010 05/23/2010 35 157 .277 .401 .431 .832 .154
2011 04/22/2011 05/29/2011 35 150 .263 .333 .338 .672 .075
2012 04/06/2012 05/14/2012 35 149 .197 .235 .275 .510 .077

In his career, he's had 9 seasons where he never had a single 35 game stretch with an OPS below .800 and in 2003 his lowest OPS over one of these periods was .995(!). His only two below .700 have come in the last two seasons, with 2012 as the runaway winner in terms of being terrible. His .510 OPS is 162 points than his next worse and 265 points lower than his next worse after that.

What really astounds me is how low his OBP is during his current season compared to all previous years. In 933 samples, only twice was his OBP below .333, his current .235 and a runner up in 2011 at .322. These same two awful periods are his only two with an AVG below .250 in his career, a .248 in 2011 that's 51 points higher than his current .197.

From a power outage standpoint, his current .077 ISO isn't his career worst. In 2011 he had an .075 that was slightly worse, and 2011 was filled with several stretches of overlapping periods with very poor ISOs. Outside of 2012, 2011, 2010 and a few rough patches in 2007, he's never had any periods with an ISO below .195.

Here's a Google spreadsheet with all 933 different 35 game periods of his career.

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