Albert Pujols heroically broke the seal last week in hitting that intensely elusive first home run. Great news, right? The temperamental slugger, for the first time all season, would finally be able to relax in his new surroundings and stop throwing things at teammates. Not really.
Since the memorable homer game, he’s a pedestrian 9-for-34, and that’s only a few steps removed from atrocious because he miraculously leapt from the casket Tuesday afternoon, coming up with three hits and two RBI. After the game, 13-year Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher was fired.
Despite the pleasant day at the ballpark, he still has just 14 RBI on the season in 36 games played. That’s four less than the great Wilson Betemit, who gets traded around like a human baseball card. Even worse, Betemit’s OPS (.729) is 193 points higher than Al B. Sure’s (.536). On the uplifting side of things, there’s almost no question newly appointed hitting coach Jim Eppard will turn multiple Louisville Sluggers into magic wands and fix everything; likely overnight.
If Angel fans are still seeking a way to look at this situation with the glass having a few sips left, hey, he’s only had two hit-less nights over his last seven games. Baby steps, people. Before Albert runs, he must relearn how to walk to first base.
One person who can rest comfortably now is Alex Rodriguez. Pujols would have turn into Josh Hamilton overnight in order to notch his 12th consecutive season of 30 homers and 100 RBI, and that’s just not happening. A-Rod holds the record with 13.
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