Albert Pujols already has more 36 doubles-36 home run seasons than anyone in MLB history.
What sore elbow?
Despite an anti-inflammatory shot intended to diminish pain in his left elbow that caused him to miss one game earlier this week, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols continues to put on a power demonstration – whether the balls leave the park or not.
The most obvious measure is home runs, but doubles are important, too.
With two-base hits in Games 1 and 2 of the San Diego series on Thursday and Friday nights, Pujols collected his 35th and 36th doubles of the season. He is currently tied for eighth in the NL in that department, with teammate Matt Holliday third with 42.
Though he hasn’t hit any home runs since launching two last Sunday, September 12 against Atlanta, Pujols’ 39 still leads the National League by four over his nearest competitor, Washington’s Adam Dunn. Albert also was first in the NL in long balls in 2009 with 47.
Put the two together, and 2010 has become Pujols’ seventh 36-36 season in his ten-year career, including each of the last three years. No one else in the history of the game has more than five. In fact, no other player has even six such seasons.
36 doubles and 36 home runs, season, MLB, 1920-current
The table that follows illustrates Pujols’ consistency over the years. He has led the league in doubles once previously. Seasons in bold indicate his 36-36 years.
Albert Pujols, doubles and home runs by season
The bottom line is that every time Pujols takes the field, he enhances his Hall of Fame credentials.
Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for providing the first table above.