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MLB

When is Albert Pujols expected to hit his 700th home run?

The legendary Maquina is just two hits away from the milestone number, so we look at where fans’ best chance to see him break it will be

Update:
The legendary Maquina is just two hits away from the milestone number, so we look at where fans' best chance to see him break it will be
Jeff CurryUSA TODAY Sports

On Friday night in St Louis, Albert Pujols hit the first pitch he saw from Cincinnati Reds reliever Raynel Espinal in the bottom of the sixth inning deep into the stands in left field to tie the game at four. La Maquina has been averaging a home run every 14 plate appearances this season, and this was his 15th at-bat since hitting number 697 in Pittsburgh.

Showing all the class that Pujols is known for, when Bally Sports reporter Alexa Datt told him that the fan who caught the ball only wanted a handshake in return, he said, “That’s pretty special, that’s awesome. She can keep it. At the end of the day, you play for the fans. They come here and have a great time, so if she wants to have that piece of history, there’s no doubt that she can have it. But if she wants to give it to me, it would be great also.”

Class.

700 is the ceiling of home runs, a milestone that for the bulk of the 20th century was inhabited by only Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Nobody else came close. Right at the opening of the 21st century, Barry Bonds streaked past everybody to take the home run crown, becoming only the third hitter to ever get over 700 career home runs. Alex Rodriguez flirted with 700 when he retired on 696, but Albert has now overtaken him and is number four on the all-time home run list. Hitting 700 won’t change that, but as a milestone, it is still a special place to be.

If you are doing your calculations, you will note that Albert Pujols’ number 699 should come in roughly 14 at-bats or four games. So if form holds true then we might expect Albert to reach that milestone in San Diego on Wednesday or Thursday. Of course, nothing is automatic, and anything can happen. Albert could go into a slump and leave it 20 or 30 at bats without a blast. But there is a reason that Albert is called the Machine. He is like a clockwork doll, you wind him up, put a bat in his hands, and watch him perform.

Assuming that La Maquina does indeed reach 699 in San Diego, then there is a good chance that you will see him hit home run number 700 in Dodger Stadium on Sunday the 25th. What a sight that would be, and with the particular properties that Chavez Ravine brings into play, making it a home run hitters’ paradise, the stage is set for a legendary evening. The only thing that would make it absolutely perfect is if Vin Scully were still around to narrate it.

Oh, well. Times change.

If Albert does have a tough time on the west coast, and it takes a little longer to get to 699, then there is the possibility that number 700 will come in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals are headed on the 27th and 28th. So if you want to guarantee that you will be in attendance when history is made, then your best bet is to buy tickets to the Dodgers game on Sunday. But baseball being a moveable feast, you would be wise to plan to attend the Brewers game on Tuesday, just in case.

Most of us will have to make do with watching it on tv. But be sure to record that Dodgers and Brewers series. You will want to watch it again.

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