Angels first baseman Albert Pujols entered Wednesday's game still… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
Angels first baseman Albert Pujols had a carpool buddy, a former colleague, on the commute to work Wednesday afternoon, but the two did not talk shop.
“He didn’t ask for any advice,” said Jim Edmonds, the former Angels and Cardinals outfielder who was a teammate of Pujols in St. Louis from 2001-2007. “I’m just trying to be a friendly face, be around him, ride to the stadium with him, give him someone to talk to.”
Any connection with his Cardinals roots and his past probably can’t hurt Pujols, who was one of baseball’s most feared hitters for 11 years in St. Louis but has been one of baseball’s least productive hitters in 2012.
Pujols, who signed a 10-year, $240-million deal with the Angels in December, entered Wednesday night’s game against the Twins with a .208 average, .255 on-base percentage, .292 slugging percentage, no home runs and five runs batted in.
Pujols entered the season with a .328 career average, .420 OBP, .541 slugging percentage — which ranked fourth in baseball history behind Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig — 445 homers and 1,329 RBIs.
Edmonds, who won eight Gold Glove awards and, with Pujols, helped the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series, was out of the country for three weeks and shocked to discover after returning in mid-April that Pujols hadn’t hit a home run.
But he didn’t really get a good look at Pujols until Tuesday night’s game against the Twins, in which Pujols went 0 for 4 with three groundball outs to the left side.
“He’s pressing — I think everybody is,” Edmonds said. “It’s not that he’s trying too hard, but when you’re the best hitter in baseball and you get uncomfortable and start to feel a little bit of the pressure, it makes it tougher. He’s started off slow, but he’ll turn it around. He always does.”
Dodgers fall to Rockies, 8-5
Nuggets have a whole list of to-do's if they're to beat Lakers
Junior Seau's shooting death: Chargers in 'shock and disbelief'
Perhaps Jim Edmonds will give Albert Pujols blast from the past