LOS ANGELES — Albert Pujols blasted his method into the unique 700-home run membership when he drilled the second of two residence runs on Friday night time at Dodger Stadium.
The 42-year-old Pujols, who has mentioned that is the ultimate season of his 22-year career, joined Barry Bonds (762 residence runs), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) as the one sluggers in AL/ NL historical past to hit not less than 700 lengthy balls in his career. Pujols and Aaron are the one two with not less than 3,000 hits and 700 residence runs.
After connecting off Dodgers right-hander Phil Bickford within the fourth inning and circling the bases, Pujols went straight over to his household at hand out high-fives by means of the netting. He was then greeted exterior the dugout by his Cardinals teammates. Not solely did the gang at Dodgers Stadium give him a standing ovation, the Cardinals slugger was greeted with chants of “Pu-jols! Pu-jols! Pu-jols” and “Al-bert! Albert! Al-bert!”
Pujols hit no. 699 in opposition to left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney within the third inning and Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts went to the bullpen for Bickford earlier than Pujols stepped to the plate. He then he smashed one other lengthy ball off Bickford to maneuver into the No. 700 membership.
Pujols additionally hit his 499th and five hundredth residence runs in the identical sport for the Angels in opposition to the Nationals in DC on April 22, 2014.
Friday’s residence runs are Pujols’ twentieth and twenty first of the season. The veteran slugger joins Aaron (20) and Bonds (19) as the one gamers with not less than 18 seasons of 20 or extra homers.
Pujols’ second dinger additionally prolonged his AL/NL file to 455 pitchers homered off throughout his career. He got here into the season second to Bonds (449), however he handed him on Aug. 29 in Cincinnati and has continued to increase the file with a flurry of post-All-Star break residence runs.
Pujols hit residence run No. 698 final Friday at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium to assist the Cardinals rally from a three-run deficit and defeat the Reds. Before he hit No. 699, 5 of Pujols’ earlier six residence runs had been to both tie the sport or put the Cardinals within the lead. Also, there’s this statistic to again up how essential Pujols has been to the Cardinals’ ascension to the highest of the NL Central: Prior to Pujols’ 699th homer, the Cardinals had been 15-1 within the video games by which he had homered and 3-0 within the cases when he clubbed two residence runs.
In the times following No. 698, Pujols went 0-for-9 within the subsequent three video games, stopping him from pulling nearer to 700 in entrance of sellout crowds at Busch Stadium. Some 94,977 followers packed Busch Stadium for Saturday’s doubleheader in hopes of seeing Pujols go on a run to 700. Another 47,909 followers – comprising the Cardinals’ twenty sixth sellout of the season and the sixth-largest crowd within the 16-year historical past of Busch Stadium III – attended Sunday’s sport solely to see Pujols and the Cardinals get shut out.
It ought to come as little shock that Pujols’ 699th and 700th residence runs got here on the street. Before No. 699, he had hit 11 residence runs this season on the street — and had two of his three two-homer performances — in comparison with simply eight homers within the scorching, humid air of Busch Stadium. In his career, Pujols has hit extra street homers (369) than residence blasts (331).
Among his main milestone residence runs, Pujols blasted his first residence run (2001), his one hundredth (2003) and five hundredth (2014) whereas enjoying on the street. He now has 466 homers as a Cardinal, 222 as an Angel and 12 with the Dodgers.
After slashing .215/.301/.376 with six homers, 20 RBIs and a .676 OPS within the first half of the season, Pujols has since begun to resemble the dreaded slugger he was a lot earlier in his career. He slashed .313/.377/.657 with 13 homers, 33 RBIs and a 1.034 OPS in his first 47 video games of the second half. Pujols had simply 4 homers by means of June earlier than launching three in July and eight in August. no 699 was his fifth residence run of September.