This Albert Pujols stat, which puts the Cardinals slugger in an exclusive group with the legendary Babe Ruth, will blow your mind.
For the first time in his 22-year career, Cardinals legendary first baseman Albert Pujols pitched against the San Francisco Giants. He allowed four runs, got trolled by Adam Wainwright, and sealed a win on national television for St. Louis.
Pujols also became the second player in major-league history to have 600 career home runs and also pitch. The other player? Babe Ruth.
Pretty good company.
Via Jeff Jones of the Belleville News, Pujols was asked after the game whether he expected a text from Shohei Ohtani, his former Los Angeles Angels teammate, as a reminder that it is hard to pitch and hit. “I think if I was throwing 100 like Shohei it would be a little bit more interesting.”
As far as the decision to have Pujols pitch the ninth inning, it happened on a whim. It was originally supposed to be outfielder Corey Dickerson on the mound, but about 90 seconds before the inning, Pujols told manager Oli Marmol that he could handle the ninth inning mop-up duties. Sure enough, Marmol listened to the future Hall of Famer, and allowed him to make his major-league pitching debut at the age of 42.
After the game, Pujols said that he planned to have the entire team autograph the baseball from the last out that he recorded. It was only an inning, of course, but further revealed the good juju with this Cardinals team. It also showed just how much fun this team is having and, as catcher Yadier Molina told reporters (including Jones): “Baseball is supposed to be fun.”
It sure was at Busch Stadium on Sunday, and now Pujols’ name will forever be enshrined with the legendary Babe Ruth. Pretty cool.