By: Cory Vest
Headlines were abundant in the MLB on Saturday night. The 600th dinger in Albert Pujols’ career was the crème de la crème. Fighting for the limelight was Edinson Volquez’s no-no against the Diamondbacks. The cherry on top, there were a record setting seven grand slams.
Albert Pujols became just the ninth player in Major League Baseball history to enter the 600-home run club. Pujols reached the door step of 600 May 30th, just four days prior to Saturday’s blast. The stage was set in the 4th inning at the Big A. Ervin Santana, who has been having a career year in Minnesota, stared down Pujols, and history, with the bases jacked behind him. Pujols took the Santana pitch and redirected it to the left field stands, becoming the first player to hit number 600 in grand slam fashion. Santana became the 386th pitcher Pujols has gone yard off of.
Pujols joined an exclusive club; brushing shoulders with the likes of Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, and Alex Rodriguez. Of the nine players to hit 600 big flies, Pujols becomes just the third to have hit 600 doubles to boot. Aaron, Bonds, and now Pujols, have all hit 600 home runs and 600 doubles. It was only a matter of time before Pujols blasted his way into the record books.
Pujols gained steam and basked in great success with the Cardinals of St. Louis for 11 seasons before moving to sunny SoCal and joining the Halos. Pujols is in his 6th season as an Angel. With about 4 seasons left on the contract, Pujols could make a push for 700.
The last time the MLB ushered somebody into the 600-home run club was in 2011 when Jim Thome entered. It could be another six to seven years until we see the next entry. Pujols is the active leader in home runs with 600, Miguel Cabrera is next in line with 451.
Onto headline numero dos. Edinson Volquez was grooving against the Diamondbacks Saturday night as 11 players made at least one plate appearance for the D-Backs, and not a single one could record a hit. Nine innings strong, ten strikeouts, and not a single hit allowed, quite the outing for Volquez. The Marlins secured a tally in the win column and Volquez gained some much-needed confidence. Prior to Saturday’s outing, Volquez was 1-7 with an ERA hovering around 4.45.
Now that we have indulged in the top layers of a great MLB Saturday night, we can now grab that cherry and finish her off. Seven grand slams found their way into the stands, marking an MLB record previously set at 6 back on May 21, 2000. The seven players who carried a big bat were the aforementioned Albert Pujols, Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber, Matt Adams for the Braves, Ian Desmond of the Rockies, the Brewers’ Travis Shaw, Chris Taylor for the Dodgers, and Mike Zunino for the Mariners.
What a day for Major League Baseball.