After the St. Louis Cardinals thrashed the Colorado Rockies 13-0 on Thursday (August 17), Cardinals star Albert Pujols said he believed his team was “playing the best baseball we have played all year long.” If Thursday’s game proved anything, it’s that Pujols might have a little something to do with their success.
At the bottom of the third inning, Pujols hit a pinch-hit grand slam off Rockies’ pitcher Austin Gomber. It was Pujols’ 690th career home run and 16th grand slam – his first as a pinch hitter. Pujols is now tied in 10th place with Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Dave Kingman for the most grand slams of all time.
“I think at the end of the day, just being part of a great organization, a great group of guys that want to win, young players they’re watching, I’m blessed to be here, and just help those guys out,” Pujols said. “It’s fun, trust me.”
With 45 games to go until the end of his final season in the league, fans are hoping he can deliver a few more big shots. With 690 career home runs, Pujols is only six away from tying Alex Rodriguez for fourth place on Major League Baseball’s (MLB) all-time home run list. Some fans have their eye on 700 homers, which has only been reached by three players in MLB history – Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Barry Bonds.
Some of his teammates joked with Pujols after the game Thursday that maybe he shouldn’t retire after all and come back for another season. “One more year! One more year! One more year!” catcher Yadier Molina chanted in the clubhouse.
Pujols responded: “For sure, I’ll be here one more year. I’m coming to see Yadi and Waino pitch. I’ll come and give them [grief] and ask them, ‘Why didn’t you retire?’ I’ll definitely be here for sure – watching these guys from the stands. I’m sure about that.”