It’s only one game, and it was a game against one of the best teams in the National League–the Cincinnati Reds–who obviously the Los Angeles Angels don’t see very much. And as he practically guaranteed earlier in the spring, Albert Pujols was ready for Opening Day. When the thumper in your lineup was a question mark for the beginning of the season, you’ll live with 0 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout.
Between Pujols and the newly acquired Josh Hamilton, the Angels were hitless in the two power spots in their lineup. Should that concern the Angels? Absolutely not.
None of that means a thing when the Angels walk away with a 13-inning 3-1 win.
The Angels believe with Pujols and Hamilton perched in the middle of the lineup, they are ready to make a return to the postseason this year. The thing about Pujols is that nobody really knows what to expect from him this season. It’s apparent that his prime years are echoing back in Busch Stadium’s tunnels and bleachers now, but he can still be an middle of the lineup hitter.
Coming back from knee surgery, Pujols is more than likely going to be a bit silent at the plate in the early going of the season, and if the Angels can come away with series victories without La Machine cranking out hit after hit, then Pujols can finally relax about trying to be “the man” in the LAA lineup.
Anyone who is watching shouldn’t get overly concerned about any 0-fers that Pujols offers up in this first month of the season. What will be important is to see him coming through with clutch two-out hits and crucial homers as the season progresses. If Pujols, Hamilton and Mike Trout can pick each other up regularly, the Angels will be fine.
A quiet opening day for Pujols this year is no reason to hit the panic button. Just sit back and watch him get comfortable and get his timing back.