Albert Pujols isn’t exactly back to his old self, the one who won World Series rings and MVP’s when playing for the Cardinals, but getting a home run, his first of the season, his first in Angels uniform, is a good way to start getting back on track, for him and his team.
The Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3, which still puts them last in the AL West with a 12-17 record, but they’ve won five of their last seven games, finishing their four game series with the Toronto Blue Jays at 2-2. Pujols has been going in an opposite direction, while his hitting keeps on slipping, but this home run may have changed the course of his season.
There wasn’t much celebrating from first baseman, who knows, that in the grand scheme of things, this was just one home run, one win. His numbers of .196/.237/.295 are as bad as you can produce, especially for someone with a contract that is one of the biggest deals in the league.
I don’t think anything’s been lifted off my shoulders. I don’t think about what guys write or think. I know what I’m capable of doing, and I come out here every day and try to get myself ready for the game and give 110 percent to this team and to this organization. And if I do that, there’s nothing to be sorry about.
Pujols went 1-4, hitting the home run in the fifth off of Drew Hutchinson, scoring two runs for the Angles, putting them beyond the reach of the Blue Jays. He hasn’t had a multiple hit game since April 19th, and his home run drought spanned 33 games and 139 at-bats.
That was Pujols’ first home run in his new home stadium, the 31st stadium to see him hit one. The frenzy which his signing evoked has turned into jeers and boos from some fans, obviously expecting to see more from a team that looked well prepared and stocked to challenge once against for the AL West crown, and more.
The last three weeks here, the fans have wanted to see it, and I’m blessed that I got the opportunity to do it here in front of them. They’ve been waiting and they’ve been impatient, and the last couple of days I heard some boos out there, but that’s part of it. I touched on that the other day. If I could boo myself, I’d do it myself, too.
But don’t blame the fans for booing. If you want to blame somebody, blame me because I’m a big guy and I can take it. I’m not performing the way everybody’s expecting, but the season isn’t only 27 games. You play 162 games, and they’re going to cheer us more than they’re going to boo us.