-Matt Tallarini, Chief Correspondent
Albert Pujols in his storied 22nd Season in the Major Leagues has accomplished a feat that only three other players in major league history have ever reached. Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Hank Aaron are all in the 700 Home Run Club. Last night Albert hit 699 and his 700th home run of his career joining the 700 club.
Albert Pujols is also the first Latino player to hit 700 home runs in the history of the major leagues. Dodger Stadium was the center of attention last night with the visiting St. Louis Cardinals coming into town lots of fans were drawn to see history take place in Chavez Ravine. Two time World Series champion Albert Pujols in his final season has truly captivated eyes of the baseball world with his historic chase of 700 during the course of the 2022 season.
Last night Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Andrew Heaney took the ball in the first game of the series between the St. Louis Cardinals looking to avoid history happening on the Dodgers side of the spectrum. In the third inning with one man on and one out Pujols came to the plate with history on the line. First pitch, Pujols recognized from Heaney was a slider for a strike. Pujols made adjustments from the previous pitch before his home run. After Pujols fouled off an 84 MPH slider he sat back on a fast ball and drove it over the left center field fence for a two run home run that gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead over the Dodgers. Pujols 699th Home run from last night gave the Cardinal’s dugout a huge spark to have a big breakout offensive night in Los Angeles. In Pujols third plate appearance in the top of the fourth inning, he had eyes on 700. With two outs and two men on base the Dodgers went to the bullpen to call on their righty Phil Bickford to replace their starter Andrew Heaney. Pujols saw the first two pitches of his at bat as breaking pitches. The count was 1-1 and only Albert could guess what the next pitch was going to be. The next was another slider and Albert hit his 700th that cleared the left center field fence for a three run home run that gave the Cardinals a 5-0 lead. Bickford will be remembered for throwing three straight sliders and giving up Albert’s 700th home run. The Cardinals went on to win 11-0 making St. Louis’s record 89-63 for the first place post season bound ball club.
Pujols lifetime numbers are very fitting to say he is a first ballot hall of famer for Cooperstown!!