Albert Pujols blames groin injury for costly baserunning mistake
Albert Pujols says a swollen lymph gland in his groin is to blame for a costly baserunning mistake he made against the Royals on Sunday.
Pujols laced a line drive down the left field line in the top of the sixth inning of a 4-3 game between Kansas City and the Angels. The ball was hit sharply down the line and left fielder Alex Gordon was far away from it, so it looked like Pujols would cruise into second with an easy stand-up double. However, the ball caromed perfectly to Gordon, and he threw into second where Alcides Escobar tagged out Pujols, who sopped going hard a few feet from the bag because he thought he had it.
“I think it was one of those things that when I saw the ball, I got my mind set to slide,” Pujols said via the Angels website. “When I saw the ball tailing to the right, I kind of shut it down and that’s when I felt it. I’m not looking for an excuse. I should’ve run all the way through the bag. Obviously, they made a good play.”
So was it the groin injury or did Pujols just misjudge things? It sounds like a bit of both.
What made the error so costly is that two batters later, Erick Aybar hit a home run to tie the game. Had Pujols been on base, it would have given the Angels the lead. They lost 5-4.
Pujols says the injury doesn’t bother him when he swings and hadn’t bothered him on the bases until Sunday, so it’s not like it’s reason for Scioscia to take him out of the lineup. Albert has been nothing short of abysmal on the basepaths this season. The guy tries to take extra bases when he shouldn’t and has been thrown out at second trying to stretch doubles. He just needs to chill out and play station to station now.