Sunday, August 1, 2010
The day in home runs: Pujols milestone
By ESPN Stats and Information
OK, Alex Rodriguez didn't hit his 600th home run, and five of the seven American League games featured no home runs, but there were a few home runs of significance on Sunday. Here's a look at the most notable of them:
Albert Pujols hit his 25th home run of the season, joining Eddie Mathews as the only players to hit 25+ home runs in each of their first 10 seasons in the major leagues. This one was his 391st, launching him past Graig Nettles and ex-teammate Jim Edmonds on the all-time home run list. Pujols' teammate Matt Holliday also homered, reaching 20 for the fourth straight season.
In defeat, Adam Dunn hit career home run number 341, passing a big slugger of his ilk -- Jack Clark -- 83rd in team history. He's hit 25 or more home runs in each of his last nine seasons (one shy of Pujols). The only year Dunn didn't hit 25 home runs was his first, and there's no shame in that -- he hit 19 in 66 games.
Adam LaRoche used two home runs to manage a career-best six RBI. He became the first left-handed hitter to ever hit a pair of three-run home runs against a left-handed pitcher in the same game against the Mets. In the last month, LaRoche has been fearless against lefty pitching, hitting .324 with a 1.008 OPS and three home runs against southpaws (he only has one against righties in that stretch).
So much for slowing down: Jose Bautista hit his sixth home run in his last seven games, giving him a major-league best 32 for the season. His eight home runs since the All-Star Break are one better than Dan Uggla and Rickie Weeks for most in the majors.
Jason Michaels may not be an everyday player, but he's maximized his opportunities off the bench. His pinch-hit grand slam on Sunday was the second of his career (his other came in 2008). Michaels is a .352 career hitter with the bases loaded, with four grand slams (and eight sacrifice flies).
A-Rod can take heart in Hanley Ramirez ending his home run drought. Ramirez hadn't hit one in his previous 24 games, hitting just .221 in that span. he went deep Sunday for the 14th time this season, the first in nearly a month.