Pujols shrugs off homerless April

Pujols shrugs off homerless April

Pujols shrugs off homerless April
ANAHEIM -- The month of April is now finished, and Albert Pujols is still homerless.

It's a storyline the baseball world is seemingly obsessed with -- and a subject the Angels' new first baseman is noticeably sick of addressing.

"I don't think about that, man," Pujols said, rolling his eyes at another round of questions about his homerless streak and early season slump. "I let you guys play with it. I know I can hit a home run. When it's going to happen, I don't know. It could be tomorrow, maybe the next day, a month from now, I don't know."

It didn't happen against the team with the worst starting-pitching ERA in the Majors on Monday night. Instead, Pujols finished 1-for-4 in the Angels' 4-3 win over the Twins, hitting his first double since April 19, lining a ball that sailed just wide of the left-field foul pole and putting his batting average at .217 for the year.

The 32-year-old still hasn't driven in a run since April 15 (he has four RBIs on the year), still hasn't had a multi-hit game since that three-double night April 19 (when his batting average sat at .296) and still (after 92 at-bats) hasn't hit a ball over the fence.

Only Braves center fielder Michael Bourn (95) and Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy (94) have more at-bats than Pujols without hitting a home run. But neither of them have averaged 14.3 at-bats per home run throughout their careers.

Pujols has had just one longer homerless streak -- through 105 at-bats last season -- but never to start a season and of course never in his first month on a new team and with a $240 million contract.

"Home runs, when they come, they come in bunches," Pujols said, echoing a sentiment he has expressed countless times through the first four weeks of the season. "I don't try to go out there and hit a ball out of the ballpark every day. I know that's what the fans come to see, but at the same time, they come to see us win. That's my attitude.

"It's just baseball, man. That's definitely not going to beat me up. I have my faith in God and knowing that I'm here for a reason and try to stay positive all the time. I think that's something I'm showing to these guys."

That's something Pujols allegedly communicated to his teammates in a pregame hitters' meeting Monday afternoon -- to stay positive and not worry about his struggles; he'd be just fine. That's what hitting coach Mickey Hatcher told a couple of reporters later.

And that's something Pujols didn't agree with.

"Mickey should never tell you guys what we talk about in a meeting," Pujols said. "I think that's something that's private. That needs to stay with the team. No disrespect to Mickey, but this is our ballclub. This is stuff that needs to be private, and that's something that I'm going to tell him. He should never talk to the media about the things that are going on in the meetings. No disrespect to him, but I think that's the way the ballclub should be. Stuff behind [closed] doors stays behind [closed] doors, not in the media."