Our long national nightmare is finally over! Yes, Albert Pujols hit a home run. It was deep, it was long and it was cathartic.
Man, if only Pujols had been given that "mental day off" weeks ago, we wouldn't have been subjected to all the media scrutiny over this ridiculous homerless streak... also we might have won a few more games, which would have been nice.
But enough about what could have been, let's talk about what happens now that Pujols has gone from Machine to Boojols to benched to hopefully being the Machine again. Is this homer really going to be all he needs to get going again? To quit pressing so much and swinging at anything and everything? To get the rest of the team to lighten up?
I don't know about those first two, but I do believe they are well on the way to accomplishing the third of those questions. Seeing how the entire roster reacted by pranking Albert by hiding in the clubhouse tunnels, the loosening has begun. That was just plain funny and I think that they took the prank beyond the standard "silent treatment" that rookies usually get with their first homer shows that this team is ready to start having fun again.
Now, let's go ahead and do something about that sub-Mendoza Line batting average. But let's not make a big deal out of it.
- I really want to get a Free Peter Bourjos campaign going, but freaking Vernon Wells keeps doing juuuuuust enough to stay in the lineup. After getting a hit and walking twice yesterday, Wells managed only one hit today, but it was a double. Frak. I mean, I guess it would be great if he started playing well, but I think this "just enough" thing is where he is going to settle in.
- Holy crap, the bullpen is cursed. They finally get a great looking kid in Ernesto Frieri, and then Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins both managed to get hurt in the same inning. Just nuts. Welcome to the team, Ernesto, you are now the closer and possibly only reliable arm for the next week or two. I hope you've been working out.
- Big ups to Jerome Williams... again. He is the forgotten member of the pitching staff, but he threw a very solid game against a very dangerous offense. I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off Jerome, but I am really starting to believe that those suckers are on there nice and tight.
- Albert's streak wasn't the only one to end today, mine did too!!!! I finally got to recap a win. This was fun. Let's do it again some time.
OK, he probably wasn't the best Angel on the field today, he did make a costly error, after all. But, hey, he hit a home run!
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