Pujols joins 700 home run club with pair of HRs
Pujols joins 700 home run club with pair of HRs LOS ANGELES – – Albert Pujols shot his direction into the select 700-grand slam club when he bored the second of two homers in Friday night’s 11-0 win at Dodger Arena, arriving at the achievement in the fourth inning off right-hander Phil Bickford. The Cardinals slugger had reached No. 699 simply an inning prior off left-hander Andrew Heany.
The 42-year-old Pujols, who has said this is the final season of his 22-year career, joined Barry Bonds (762 home runs), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) as the only sluggers in AL/NL history to hit at least 700 long balls in his career. Pujols and Aaron are the only two with at least 3,000 hits and 700 home runs.
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Subsequent to circumnavigating the bases, Pujols zoomed directly over to previous Major Leaguer Adrian Beltré in the first column for a high-five through the netting. He was then welcomed beyond the hole by his Cardinals colleagues. Not in the least did the group at Dodger Arena give him a deeply heartfelt applause, the Cardinals slugger was welcomed with serenades of “Pu-jols! Pu-jols! Pu-jols” and “Al-bert! Al-bert! Al-bert!”
Pujols has 500 home runs off right-handed pitchers and 200 off left-handed pitchers. He also hit his 499th and 500th home runs in the same game for the Angels against the Nationals in D.C. on April 22, 2014.
Both of Friday’s homers were no-skeptics the second they left Pujols’ celebrated two-tone bat: The take off Heaney left the bat at 108 mph and voyaged 434 feet – – his fourth-longest grand slam of the time and one that would have been a homer in every one of the 30 MLB parks, per Statcast. On the 700th homer, Pujols bored a middle cut 80.8 mph slider from Bickford high into the Los Angeles night (5.9 seconds of hang time) for an impact that voyaged 389 feet.
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Friday’s home runs are Pujols’ 20th and 21st of the season. The veteran slugger joins Aaron (20) and Bonds (19) as the only players with at least 18 seasons of 20 or more homers. It was his fourth multi-home run game of the season and the 61st time he has hit at least two home runs in a game.
Pujols’ second dinger also extended his AL/NL record to 455 pitchers homered off during his career. He came into the season second to Bonds (449), but he passed him on Aug. 29 in Cincinnati and has continued to extend the record with a flurry of post-All-Star break home runs.
Pujols hit homer No. 698 last Friday at St. Louis’ Busch Arena to assist the Cardinals with mobilizing from a three-run deficiency and rout the Reds. Before he hit No. 699, five of Pujols’ past six homers had been to either tie the game or put the Cardinals ahead of the pack. Likewise, there is this measurement to back up how significant Pujols has been to the Cardinals’ climb to the highest point of the NL Focal: Preceding Pujols’ 699th homer, the Cardinals had been 15-1 in the games in which he had homered and 3-0 in the occurrences when he clubbed two homers.
In the days following No. 698, Pujols went 0-for-9 in the next three games, preventing him from pulling closer to 700 in front of sellout crowds at Busch Stadium. Some 94,977 fans packed Busch Stadium for Saturday’s doubleheader in hopes of seeing Pujols go on a run to 700. Another 47,909 fans — comprising the Cardinals’ 26th sellout of the season and the sixth-largest crowd in the 16-year history of Busch Stadium III — attended Sunday’s game only to see Pujols and the Cardinals get shut out.
Prior in the week, when the Cardinals were in one of their most terrible hostile ruts while confronting the Padres in San Diego, Pujols demanded that he wasn’t pursuing 700 grand slams. He additionally said that he would be completely satisfied with his position throughout the entire existence of baseball regardless of whether he get to 700 homers. What brought him back for a 22nd season – – and back to St. Louis, he stressed – – was the opportunity to win a third Worldwide championship.
“I’m not chasing anything,” Pujols said adamantly on Tuesday. “I’ve never chased any numbers and 22 years later I’m definitely not going to chase anything. In my career, I’ve been so blessed with everything that I’ve accomplished in my life.
“What I’m pursuing right presently is another ring,” Pujols proceeded. “That is the thing I’m pursuing for the City of St. Louis and for our fans and that is the reason I endorsed back this year. Returning to St. Louis, I realized we planned to have an extraordinary ballclub and ideally find the opportunity [to win a championship] and ideally finish this section that I began a long time back.”
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It should come as little surprise that Pujols’ 699th and 700th home runs came on the road. Before No. 699, he had hit 11 home runs this season on the road — and had two of his three two-homer performances — compared to just eight homers in the hot, humid air of Busch Stadium. In his career, Pujols has hit more road homers (369) than home blasts (331).
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Among his significant achievement grand slams, Pujols impacted his most memorable homer (2001), his 100th (2003) and 500th (2014) while playing out and about. He currently has 466 homers as a Cardinal, 222 as a Heavenly messenger and 12 with the Dodgers.
In the wake of cutting .215/.301/.376 with six homers, 20 RBIs and a .676 Operations in the primary portion of the time, Pujols has since begun to look like the dreaded slugger he was a whole lot sooner in his profession. He cut .313/.377/.657 with 13 homers, 33 RBIs and a 1.034 Operations in his initial 47 rounds of the final part. Pujols had only four homers through June prior to sending off three in July and eight in August. No. 699 and 700 were his fifth and 6th grand slams of September.