Major League Baseball experienced a very eventful weekend.
After an emotional morning across the league as Yordano Ventura, who tragically passed away in a car accident in January, would have turned 26 years old, ex-teammate Edinson Volquez threw his first career no-hitter in honor of Ventura and ex-Marlins all-star Jose Fernandez on Saturday.
“I just do it for them,” Volquez said. “They’re watching right now. And they might feel really happy right now.”
Volquez became the first pitcher since 1999 to throw a no-hitter in fewer than 100 pitches with 10 or more strikeouts.
Following the first no-hitter of the 2017 season, the quest for the Silver Boot continued between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers as in-state rivals faced off in the second installment of the Lone Star Series.
The Astros picked up a 6-5 win over the Rangers and became the first team to reach 40 wins.
Veteran Carlos Beltran played a vital role in the ninth-straight win by the Astros, hitting 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs and a home run.
The Astros now lead the American League West by 13 games and have an overall five-game lead out of all teams.
Since hitting his 599th career home run Tuesday night, all eyes have been on the Angels’ Albert Pujols.
The 10-time All-Star stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and cranked number 600 in grand-slam fashion, the first player to ever do so in the history of the game, giving Los Angeles a 7-1 lead over the Minnesota Twins. The Angels would go on to defeat the Twins 7-2.
“To be able to do it tonight in front of our fans, my family, is pretty special,” Pujols said.
Only the ninth player to ever hit 600 homers, Pujols joined the club filled with baseball legends Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome and Sammy Sosa.
Pujols, a little more than 100 hits shy of joining the prestigious 3,000 hit club, will join Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players in history to record more than 600 home runs and 3,000 hits if he’s able to reach the milestone.
Shortly after Pujols’ slam, Mike Zunino went deep for the seventh grand slam of the day, setting a new MLB record for most grand slams in a single day. Zunino and Pujols joined Kyle Schwarber, Matt Adams, Ian Desmond, Travis Shaw and Chris Taylor to pass the previous single-day record of six grand slams on May 21, 2000.
As I wrote in last Thursday’s column, right now truly is the best time to start watching baseball.