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Albert Pujols just needs one more home run to join the 700 home run club.
Pujols blasted the 699th home run of his career on Friday night.
The 42-year-old has the fourth-most home runs all-time – his 697th back on Sept. 11 put him past Alex Rodriguez.
Hank Aaron (762), Barry Bonds (755), and Babe Ruth (714) are the only people to hit more home runs in MLB history than Pujols.
Entering the season, Pujols needed 21 homers to reach a feat no one has accomplished since Bonds did back on Sept. 17, 2004. However, with his links to performance-enhancing drugs, he may be considered the first player to do it cleanly since Aaron did it 49 years ago.
With Pujols’ subpar play in recent years (.700 OPS since 2017 and averaging 18 homers per season in that span with the Angels and Dodgers), it seemed somewhat unlikely.
But in mid-July, he kicked it up a notch.
Entering Friday night, since July 10, he has been the Pujols of old, hitting .312 with a 1.026 OPS. He now has 16 home runs in his last 54 games played.
Now, with 11 games and the rest of Friday to go, it’s not a matter of if, but when.
Pujols wasn’t the only Cardinal chasing history this year. Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina just broke the all-time MLB record for most starts by a battery. Wainwright threw the first pitch of a game to Yadi Wednesday for the 325th time in their careers.
Pujols has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, no matter what he finishes with. But with the way he’s been hitting recently, it’s difficult to imagine that he wouldn’t reach the number with a dozen games to go.
Pujols also will be playing in the postseason this October, and hopes to go out on top with a third World Series ring.