Albert Pujols hammers a winner
After his two-run walk-off home run Wednesday against the Oakland Athletics, DH Albert Pujols finds himself just one walk-off homer away from tying the major league record of 13, held by Jim Thome, who finished his career with the Baltimore Orioles in 2012. Right now Pujols leads all active players in walk-off homers and he is tied with “Big Papi” David Ortiz with walk-off hits at 20.
The Angels have struggled this season, weighed down by injuries to their pitching staff in particular. But their bats have done well, lead by Mike Trout and Pujols. Trouts ERA is .318, with 19 home runs and 67 RBI’s. Pujols’ numbers: .262 ERA, 21 home runs and 84 RBI’s.
We should also mention Jefry Marté who is batting .412 for the past week and Kole Calhoun who is batting .270 with 10 home runs with 54 RBI’s.
But Wednesday’s hero was Albert Pujols who, in the 9th inning with Trout on first due to a throwing error by Oakland A’s third baseman Ryon Healey and A’s reliever Ryan Dull pitching, sent this ball 436 feet to left to win the game.
Dull was behind in the count and knew he had to throw a pitch Pujols could possibly hit. After the game he told reporters it was, “Too good of a pitch to hit.”
Angels starter Jered Weaver said, “Nothing I like seeing better than Albert standing up on the pitcher and hitting a homer to win the game, so that was pretty cool.”
“You know, it’s a great feeling because you know you contributed [to] win the game,” Pujols told reporters after the game. But he added, “Like I say, it’s nothing really special to me. I look at it as just like another home run. It was good enough for us to win the game, win the series, you know; flip the page and get ready to win tomorrow and get on a plane and go to Seattle for a long road trip,”
Angels fans thought it was something special.
Today the Angels close out the series with the Athletics and head to Seattle to face the Mariners for the first three games of a nine-game road trip.
Earlier in the week the Angels traded Hector Santiago and Joe Smith to the Minnesota Twins and in return they received pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Alex Meyer, who was sent down to the minors. Baseball writers opined that the Angels have given up on the season because Santiago was 9-4 when traded, and the Angels were more than 12 games away from the division-leading Texas Rangers and at least ten wins away from being a wild card. Manager Mike Scioscia told the media that wasn’t the case, that adding Nolasco put them in a better position to win and Meyer was a great prospect for the future.
This nine-game road trip should give fans an idea of whether the Angels can can challenge in the division and make the post-season.
Today’s game is underway. Can Pujols do it again? Watch Claudia’s video below for post-game comments from Pujols, Jered Weaver and Ryan Dull.
Claudia Gestro contributed to this article, including all photos.
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