September 24, 2022

Albert Pujols Hits 700th Home Run

Albert Pujols hit the 699th and 700th home runs of his eventual first-ballot Hall of Fame career last night, in the Cardinals 11-0 rout of the seemingly unbeatable Dodgers.

Pujols is the fourth major league player to top 700 dongs, joining Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

Pujols, 42, will retire after this season and he's having one of the greatest final seasons of all time. It's like his 10 years with the Angels never happened. His OPS+ is 147, which is his best showing since 2011, his last season with the Cardinals. Looking at his annual stats, I was reminded how eye-popping his first nine or ten years in the majors really were. Must be something in the St. Louis water.

And now he's burst into a sprint as he nears the finish line. Since August 10, Pujols has played in 39 games and hit .319/.377/.724 for an OPS of 1.101. He's hit 14 home runs and driven in 34 runs, which is a rate of 58 and 141, respectively, over 162 games.

David Ortiz had a similar big finish in 2016, his final season. At age 40, he led the majors in doubles (48), slugging (.620), and OPS (1.021). He walked (80) almost as often as he struck out (86) and was the AL leader in extra-base hits (87), RBI (127), and intentional walks (15).

Ted Williams had an OPS of 1.096 (190 OPS+) in 1961, his last season. Both of those numbers would have easily led both leagues, but Williams had only 390 plate appearances.

The Red Sox have lost to the Yankees by a 5-4 score on each of the last two nights. One bright spot is they have not allowed Aaron Judge to hit his 61st home run of the season at home. But there is still today and Sunday to go.

It pains me to say this, but Judge is having an insanely great season. The truly amzing thing is how far ahead of every other AL hitter he is in so many categories.
Runs Scored:           125  (32 more than Marcus Semien)
Total Bases: 377 (86 more than Bo Bichette)
Home Runs: 60 (23 more than Yordan Alvarez)
Runs Batted In: 128 (11 more than Jose Ramirez)
Walks: 92 (15 more than Alex Bregman and Jesse Winker)
Extra Base Hits: 87 (13 more than Ramirez)
Times on Base: 272 (26 more than Jose Abreu)
On-Base Percentage: .421 (16 points higher than Alvarez)
Slugging Percentage: .699 (82 points higher than Alvarez)
On-Base + Slugging: 1.120 (98 points higher than Alvarez)
Runs Created: 162 (50 more than Alvarez)
Adjusted OPS+: 213 (27 points higher than Alvarez)
Judge leads the AL with a .315 batting average, but Xander Bogaerts is right on his heels at .314, with Luis Arraez of the Twins third at .312.

Judge has hit 20 more home runs than NL-leader Kyle Schwarber, who has 40. The last time someone had a 20+-homer lead on all of MLB was the final day of the 1928 season, when Ruth (54) led Jim Bottomley and Hack Wilson (31 each) by 23 dongs.

The list of people who have led their league by 30+ runs scored is very short: Ross Barnes (1876 NL), Babe Ruth (1921 AL), and Rickey Henderson (1985 AL).

1 comment:

allan said...

Red Sox lose again, 7-5. Jesus.