How Albert Pujols' pitching debut vs. Giants put him in the company of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb

Albert Pujols capped off a fun week of position players pitching in blowouts.

After Brett Phillips was offered up as a sacrificial lamb for the Rays against the Angels Tuesday in Reid Detmers' no-hitter, Pujols got to enjoy pitching the ninth inning from the other side with the Cardinals up 15-2 against the Giants on Sunday.

The 42-year-old DH gave up three hits, four runs, and a walk in his debut pitching outing. The average exit velocity of contact made against him was 94.35 mph. The Cardinals would win the game 15-6, but only after Pujols gave up back-to-back home runs to Luis Gonzalez and Joey Bart.

MORE: Pitchers to throw a no-hitter and lose: Hunter Greene, Reds make MLB history with loss to Pirates

Pujols joined some historic names with his "outing." Here's a look at some of the company he now keeps.

Babe Ruth

Pujols is the second player in MLB history to have 600 home runs and make at least one pitching appearance, with Babe Ruth being the other. Ruth, of course, was a bit more prolific in the pitching department, having had multiple 20-win seasons with the Boston Red Sox in 1916 and 1917.

Ruth posted a 2.28 ERA in 1,221.1 career innings, just a smidge better than Pujols' 36.00 in one inning. It's hard to figure Pujols will get many chances to improve that either.

Ty Cobb

On Reddit, /u/Far-Pain5261 posted a fascinating stat about Pujols in relation to Ty Cobb. Pujols' 3,312 hits at the time of his appearance is the most since Ty Cobb pitched against the St. Louis Browns on Oct. 4, 1925. Cobb had 3,821 hits at the time of the appearance. In that inning, the Browns went three up and three down against Cobb's arm.

Lena Blackburne

Lena Blackburne may not carry the weight in his name Ruth or Cobb do, but his legacy lingers more than nearly anyone in MLB history. At 42 years and 119 days old, Pujols was the oldest player to make a pitching debut since 1929, when Blackburne pitched for the first time at 42 years 225 days.

Blackburne created Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud, the substance used to "mud" baseballs before every MLB and MiLB game.

MORE: Clayton Kershaw injury update: Dodgers starter out with inflamed SI joint in lower back

Pujols' appearance proved blowouts can be fun. After Evan Longoria got the first hit allowed of Pujols' career, he asked if he could keep the piece of history.

Pujols eventually got Lamonte Wade Jr. to ground out to end the game, but perhaps 15-6 was a bit close for comfort after the cushion he got. Don't expect to see Pujols sliding into the closing role any time soon, but he was a good sport after the game.

"They were looking and I was like 'Hey I'll do it, why not,'" Pujols said to reporters after the game. "That was a dream come true now I can say that I did it but it was fun, you know. It wasn't fun giving up two bombs but, you know, I think the fans had a good time and I'm sure the guys who took me deep too."

If you'd like to see the full ephus-filled outing, MLB posted it to its Youtube channel.

 

Author(s)