Fifth all-time in home runs, third all-time in runs batted in, three MVP awards, former rookie of the year and two-time world series champion is just half the resume of newly signed 41-year-old Albert Pujols, released by the Angels last week.
“It was pretty awesome,” said Pujols on his mindset leading up to the game. “I was really excited to take the field and contribute for the ballclub.”
Pujols didn’t have to move far. The veteran first baseman packed up his bags traveling 30 minutes up the I-5 freeway ditching the red for the blue. The Dodgers signed Pujols to a contract for the remainder of the season adding an experienced bat to an injured lineup.
“Playing against Albert, seeing him on the other side, managing against him, and seeing him in our dugout in a Dodger uniform is really surreal. But it fit and it looked normal,” emphasized Dave Roberts. “I know the players were really excited, I know he was really excited. It was like that 13-year-old kid playing his first little league game and everyone fed off that energy. “
Injuries have hit the Dodgers hard like an incurable plague. The latest victim being World Series MVP Corey Seager landing on the injured list with a fractured hand.
The verteran showed off his 21-year skillset in the majors with a clutch RBI and his first hit to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
“It felt great, especially your first night wearing this uniform in a huge situation like that,” said Pujols on his first hit as a Dodger. “I was able to put on a good barrel and it went through the infield. It felt great.”
Walker Buehler looked dominant in his start Monday night. Pitching seven scoreless innings for Buehler’s second win of the season.
“A focus of mine is trying to get ahead and throw strike one,” said Buehler on his success tonight.
Buehler ran into trouble in the top of the fourth inning walking three Arizona batters loading the bases with one out. In a world of trouble, Buehler locked in, striking the next batter out with a pop fly to right for the third out.
Sportsnet LA broadcast caught Pujols giving the youngster a pep talk after showing poise escaping the jam.
“He made some amazing pitches and I was telling him great job you made some mature pitches”, said Pujols. “You didn’t let the moment take you out of control.”
“I’m going to do that with anybody whether I’m playing or on the bench, just pump them up”, added Pujols.
Dave Roberts confirmed Pujols will be in the lineup Tuesday night when the Dodgers face the Diamondbacks in game two.