Last night Albert Pujols gave Los Angeles Angels fans something to smile about, which has not happened very often this season, by hitting home run number 600 off of Ervin Santana. Are more milestones possible for Pujols?
Albert Pujols started the season nine home runs away from the magical 600 home run mark and 58 games into the season Pujols has reached a plateau that only eight others have before him. What is unique about Pujols’ 600th round-tripper was that it was a grand slam off former Angel Ervin Santana who was teammates with Pujols for one season.
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It was a magical night for the ages Saturday night, however it didn’t start out that way. The Angels fell behind early for the third game in a row and the offense looked listless. Pujols walked in his first at-bat but the Angels couldn’t score.
However in the third inning the Angels bats came alive. After Eric Young Jr. was hit by a pitch, Andrelton Simmons drilled a go-ahead two-run homer to left field that soared over both bullpens for a 2-1 lead. Kole Calhoun followed with a solo homer to right before Pujols strode to the plate.
The crowd already fired up because of the back-to-back homers reached a crescendo as Pujols name was announced. They were quickly subdued by a three-pitch strike out of Pujols so home run #600 would have to wait.
In the bottom of the fourth inning the Angels started another rally as Ben Revere singled which was followed by a walk to Young Jr. and one batter later Kole Calhoun drew a walk to load the bases for Pujols. WIth the 40,236 fans on their feet Albert Pujols strode to the plate once again. This time Pujols did not disappoint as he drill 1-2 pitch from Santana high into the night sky and the ball dropped 10 feet over the short wall in left setting off a wild celebration in the stands and on the field.
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The whole team came out of the dugout including injured Mike Trout and Pujols’ wife Deidre. As mentioned earlier Pujols’ homer was the first-ever grand slam hit for #600. For me to be there in the crowd was something very special. been blessed to see Rod Carew‘s 3,000th hit and Don Sutton’s 300th win live, never did I imagine seeing a 600th home run by Pujols. Now Pujols will continue to try to break more milestones.
Pujols is just 124 hits short of 3,000 hits nd is also 141 RBI’s away from 2,000. 3,000 hits is a possibility to reach this season but most likely Pujols will reach it next season as well as 2,000 RBI’s. These will be great feats for Pujols once he reaches them, but want most people are wonder is whether or not Pujols will become only the fourth player to reach 700 home runs.
Pujols has averaged 25 home runs a season in the past five years which means it is a possibility for Pujols to reach this mark in about four years barring any major injuries. 763 homers which would make Pujols the all-time home run leader in baseball history, is possible if he could stick around until he is 43.
To me it is a longshot for Pujols to break Barry Bonds‘ home run mark, but 700 homer is a distinct possibility. For now there is not more milestone chasing this season, but next year could be fun again as Pujols closes in on 3,000 hits. However we will have to wait a few years for another milestone home run.