The $240-million-dollar man continues to struggle since taking his talents to L.A.
Since joining the Los Angeles Angels, Albert Pujols can’t wake up from the nightmare. The Angels have lost four consecutive games and seven of their last nine. Less than three weeks into the season, they’re already 8 ½ games out of first place, behind their rival Texas Rangers, and are floundering in last place.
Pujols went 1-for-4 on Thursday in the Angels’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, ending his hitless streak at a career-worst 21 at-bats when he rolled a grounder up the middle to beat a three-man defensive shift. He was thrown out attempting to stretch the single into a double. With 445 home runs, Pujols has not gone deep in 19 games and 76 at-bats this season. He hit 37 homers last year for the World Series-champion St. Louis Cardinals. Now, he’s homerless in 105 regular-season at-bats since Sept. 22, tying his longest drought: April 23rd to May 23rd of last year. The three-time NL MVP is hitting .224 with a .280 on-base percentage after leaving St. Louis to sign a huge 10-year contract with the Angels.
Pujols hasn’t experienced a skid like this since his rookie season in 2001, but he was able to find his swing. The Angels hope he recovers as well as he did that year, or even last year, because they’re not going anywhere without him. No team in division-play era has found itself that far out at the end of April and charged back to finish first. Can the $240-million-dollar man deliver?