After 3.2 innings by Andrew Heaney in which he allowed 2 earned runs, 2 walks and home run number 699 to Albert Pujols, the pitcher was taken out of the game with Albert coming to the plate for the third time of the night. He was replaced by Phil Bickford and history was made.
Pujols launched a 1-1 hanging Bickford slider out to left center and the crowd went berserk as he just made history with his 700th career home run (Heaney’s book closed after that with 4 earned runs).
Bickford was asked about being the pitcher to allow Pujols to reach this feat.
“At first, I was upset that I gave up the home run,” Bickford said. “When the crowd reacted, seeing all the smiles, it was a very special moment for MLB. And Albert Pujols is also one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. After I got over being upset at giving up the home run, toward the very end of it, it was obviously a special moment.”
As a competitor, you never want to give up home runs. But, I feel like this is a special occasion in which you don’t mind and Bickford demonstrated that in his comments. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts echoed Phil’s sentiment.
You can say it was tailor-made for the future Hall of Famer to achieve it this weekend and it was even more of a storybook when you saw Heaney on the mound for the Dodgers. After Friday night, Heaney has now allowed 12 home runs in his last 7 starts after only allowing one home run in his first handful of starts.
Bickford is another one of the Dodger pitchers who has been prone to allow homers. According to Baseball Reference, in 61 innings pitched Bickford has allowed 12 homers.
It was a night to remember for Tio Albert, but it was a night to forget for the Dodgers as they got rocked by the Red Birds,11-0.
We’re happy for Pujols, so we’ll be able to look over the disgusting performance that the Boys in Blue displayed last night.