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Dodgers: Albert Pujols Seems to Be Enjoying His First Pennant Race in A Very Long Time



Albert Pujols didn’t get very many opportunities to make a playoff push with the Angels. Despite spending almost 10 full seasons in Anaheim, the future Hall of Famer got just 1 opportunity in the postseason. That changed the second that he joined the Dodgers. 

Tio Albert came up with another huge hit for the Dodgers in the 10th inning on Tuesday. With an offense that had gone cold in the game, Dave Roberts called on Albert to get the big hit in extra-innings. He delivered with an RBI single that proved to be the difference-maker in the win. 

Generally speaking, Albert just looks like he’s having more fun. When asked after the Dodgers win about the pennant race and Albert’s role, even Doc thought he was savoring the opportunity to make a run for the first time in a very long time. 

He is (enjoying it). I think there might have been a beer shower after the game for Albert which shows how much guys just respect and adore him.

Pujols made it to the postseason 7 different times and won a World Series. The Dodgers scooped him up in the midst of a whole lot of injuries, and no one could have predicted what he would bring to the team. The clubhouse presence is huge, and that was always the main part of bringing him on. 

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But Pujols just drove in his 38th run with the Dodgers, and he continues to mash when it’s needed. And maybe, just maybe, the fierce competition that Los Angeles brings on a daily basis is just what he needed to spark his bat. 

It’s been a whole lot of fun to watch. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. This is why the universal DH needs to happen. Without it, Pujols really doesn’t have a place on the team next year, but with it he can be the designated hitter against lefties. He still brings a lot of plate and locker room value to the team.

      • Paul,

        Please stop with the Roberts trashing. You may have been a Dodger fan since 1965 but I’ve got at least 12 years on you and have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Is he the smartest manager in the league? Probably not. But a manager needs a wide array of skillsets and he’s got most of them. Most importantly, it seems as if the players like him and like playing for him. No offense, but being liked by fans like you is not one of his job requirements. He’s dealt with a rash of injuries that are beyond comprehension plus the Trevor Bauer debacle, yet he has somehow managed to hold this team together. Bill Parcells used to say that you’re only as good as your record shows and, so far, the team’s record is pretty damn good. Let’s see how the rest of the season plays out before further trashing him. Please.

        • Greg, this roster is loaded or has been loaded with talent that most here would be saying similar things and have been on Robert’s case as much as I have. Ask others here and they would tell ya that the players and team won in spite of him and even the media has called him out on a lot of things he’s done. I’ve heard others say that with the talent he’s been given, Dodgers still shouldn’t be a game behind. Some of his decision making has been questionable by many, not just me. However, I do agree with ya as far as these massive amount of injuries that have made things much more difficult this year. We know that part is not on Roberts. It’s from going from a 60 game season and ramping up to the full 162 the following year. Has a good deal to do with it. This amount of injuries and IL stints I would agree would have de-railed even that great 1927 Yankee team. Pretty tough for any team to overcome this many ailments to the point they can’t be an excuse but can be a reason for falling short at the end.

          • Fair enough, but GregB, most of us have also been concerned with the apparent playing favorites by Roberts concerning Bellinger, and he shouldn’t be so anxious to have Bellinger in the starting lineup at this point late in the season with Bellinger struggling to a tune of a .159 BA. And understandably so, at the same time not giving Beaty much of a chance. Maybe Beaty isn’t a gold glove defensively but a .262 Ba or so is slightly better than what we’ve seen from guys like Raley, Souza Jr., ,McKinney, Bellinger and so on. Point being is Bellinger should have been placed on IL a bit sooner. It’s obvious we cannot expect much from him for remainder of year.

        • Greg,
          Paul isn’t the only one. Most of these fans here have no idea what they are talking about, and seem to pile on as a feeding frenzy once one gets started. In my mind Doc could be NL Mgr of the year if they win the West. Is he perfect? No. Does he make mistakes? Sure. but enough so that the team will end the year with >100 wins is a hindrance to their performance? Of course not. This was a Pujols blog by the way, but yet as seen ad nauseum, it always turns into a bash doc cacophony!
          I think Albert ends up back with Cards for his last year if he doesn’t resign with the Dodgers

          • Joe, we’re not winning the west and DRRRRR’s is the reason why, not injuries. This team still had enough talent because of the pitching to win it, but Roberts favoritism with Bellinger, Mckinnley. and a few others which stifled the offence, putting in below 200 hitters 2 -3 players per game IS why we will end up a wild card. You can sqwuak and apologize and spew whatever nonsense you conjur up praising DRRRRRRRRR’s but MANY here and every talk board I attend have witnessed the head scratching line ups and the Favoritism of a few players. So conceed the race and get ready for the Wild card game against the cards and Let’s all Pray that DRRRRRRRRRR’s starts Betts-Seager-Turner-Muncy-Turner-Taylor-Smith, because If bellinger-Mckinnley-Souza-Raley mckinstry are anywhere close to his pencil ( Like that stupidity he pulled the last time in St Louis, this season will be over….

      • Better yet, let’s hope and pray that Roberts will not be with the team next year. Totally, incredibly stupid for him to have Bellinger initially in the starting lineup yesterday.

        • Dodgerglenn, I’m afraid DRRRRR will be back next year because FO can point to all the injuries that took place this years as not being the fault of the manager. But we are all aware of how he mis handled lineups and in game decisions including the pitching. But what is or has to be so obvious to all is Robert’s favoritism towards Bellinger no matter what. Hey it’s not all on Bellinger because had that off season shoulder surgery, then that fractured leg, that hamstring issue and now this rib issue. We certainly couldn’t expect pre ASG 2019 Bellinger but we sure as heck didn’t expect him to look this bad hitting .159 either. And yet Roberts wants him in there at all costs and even his IL stint made retroactive to September 18th.

        • Pujols was the 2nd greatest move by friedman this year, and boy was he needed with how things didn’t pan out with the loss of Kike’ and joc…. I really enjoyed your take with the Roberts sympathizer, I’m not sure if he realizes that even you or I could manage a 275 million dollar line up and win with it….And something no one really ever brings up regarding ALL of these injuries. ” If this Platoon system the Dodgers use is designed to rest players and essentially prevent injuries so the team can be healthier, then why the H are ALL of these injuries occurring constantly?”” Something is foul or fowel regarding this question….. When we played, we were always taught that playing more often actually built much better stamina, and arm strength etc. Endurance didn’t seem to be such a problem back in the 60’s-70’s 80’s etc. It all started being a problem during and after the Steroid era……

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