Remember the day: May 4, 2018. Because you might not see a day like it in Major League Baseball again.
A no-hitter is one of the sport’s signature single-game achievements. Joining the 3,000-hit club is one of its iconic career milestones. We saw both feats on Friday night.
First, Albert Pujols singled to right field in the fifth inning of the Angels’ 5-0 win at Seattle, collecting hit No. 3,000. A bit later, the Dodgers completed a combined no-hitter, which saw four pitchers — led by starter Walker Buehler — shut down the Padres in a 4-0 victory in Monterrey, Mexico.
It marked the first time in baseball history that a no-hitter and 3,000th career hit occurred on the same day. But Pujols is no stranger to sharing milestone moments: He slugged his 600th career home run on June 3, 2017, the same day that Edinson Volquez threw a no-hitter for the Marlins.
In celebration of Friday’s double dose of greatness, here are some of the most notable facts and figures from each feat.
Pujols’ 3,000th hit
• Pujols is the 32nd member of the 3,000-hit club, a group that includes 25 Hall of Famers and several other likely future Hall of Famers. Pujols is the first to join since Adrian Beltre with the Rangers last July 30.
• Pujols is also the member of another exclusive club — the 600-home-run club. His membership in both makes him one of just four players in Major League history with both 3,000 hits and 600 homers. The others: Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
• In addition, Pujols is one of only three players with 3,000 hits and three Most Valuable Player Awards. A-Rod and Stan Musial are the other two in that group. Pujols’ three MVPs all came in the National League with the Cardinals — in 2005, ’08 and ’09.
• Born in Santo Domingo, Pujols is the second Dominican-born Major Leaguer to reach 3,000 hits — and, with Beltre being the previous player, the second consecutive player to hail from the Dominican Republic. He’s also the third straight foreign-born player to get his 3,000th hit. Before Beltre came Ichiro Suzuki, who got his 3,000th hit with the Marlins on Aug. 7, 2016.
• Pujols is the sixth member of the 3,000-hit club born outside the continental U.S. He joins Beltre (Dominican Republic), Ichiro (Japan), Rafael Palmeiro (Cuba), Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico) and Rod Carew (Panama).
• Of Pujols’ 3,001 career hits, 1,739 are singles, to go along with 626 doubles, 16 triples and 620 home runs. His 3,001st hit was his 928th with the Halos, in his 901st game for the team, which he joined in 2012. The breakdown of those 928 hits: 581 singles, 171 doubles, one triple and 175 home runs. The Machine recorded his first 2,073 hits with the Cardinals, for whom he played his first 11 seasons from 2001-11. His first career hit was a ground-ball single through the left side in the seventh inning of his MLB debut at Coors Field in Colorado on April 2, 2001.
Dodgers’ combined no-hitter
• Played at Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey in Mexico, the Dodgers’ no-hitter was the first combined no-no in Major League history to take place outside the United States or Canada. (As far as no-hitters outside the U.S., Montreal has hosted three, and Toronto two.)
• This is the Dodgers’ first combined no-hitter in franchise history, and their 23rd overall no-hitter, dating back to June 22, 1891, when Tom Lovett of the Brooklyn Grooms no-hit the New York Giants. Prior to Friday’s no-hitter, the last Dodgers no-no came on June 18, 2014, when Clayton Kershaw blanked the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. That total of 23 is the most for any franchise, five more than the Red Sox and White Sox.
• Combined no-hitters are far less common than those completed by a single pitcher. The Dodgers’ no-hitter Friday was just the 12th combined no-no in MLB history. Prior to Friday’s combined effort by Dodgers hurlers, the last combined no-hitter took place on Sept. 1, 2014, when the Phillies’ Cole Hamels (six innings), Jake Diekman (one), Ken Giles (one) and Jonathan Papelbon (one) no-hit the Braves at Turner Field.
• The Dodgers’ use of four pitchers in a no-hitter is tied for third most among the 12 combined no-hitters in MLB history. The Major League record for most pitchers used in a combined no-hitter is six, done twice (by the Mariners against the Dodgers on June 8, 2012, and by the Astros against the Yankees on June 11, 2003).
• With Friday’s combined no-hitter being thrown in Mexico — the ceremonial first pitch was even thrown out by Mexican baseball legend Fernando Valenzuela (who pitched a no-hitter himself for L.A. on June 29, 1990) — it’s worth noting that one of the few other combined no-hitters thrown in MLB history was completed by two Mexican-born pitchers. On July 12, 1997, the Pirates’ Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon combined to no-hit the Astros in 10 innings at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.
• The Padres became the 17th NL team to be no-hit among the last 20 MLB no-hitters. That run began after the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game against the Rays on Aug. 15, 2012. Since then, the only American League teams to be no-hit were the Red Sox by the A’s Sean Manaea on April 21, the Orioles by the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma on Aug. 12, 2015, and the Tigers by the Marlins’ Henderson Alvarez on Sept. 29, 2013.
• Friday’s no-hitter was the 10th against the Padres — two of which were combined no-hitters — which is the most against any franchise since San Diego debuted in 1969. The last two no-hitters against San Diego were thrown by the same pitcher — the Giants’ Tim Lincecum on July 13, 2013, and June 25, 2014. There was also one other combined no-hitter against the Padres, completed by the Braves on Sept. 11, 1991 — when Kent Mercker (six innings), Mark Wohlers (two) and Alejandro Pena (one) blanked San Diego at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
News by MLB