Albert Pujols hit his 657th career home run on Tuesday, but he didn’t appear happy by the attempted trickery of the Mariners’ pitcher.
Los Angeles Angels’ first baseman Albert Pujols has been around the block a few times. Now playing his 20th career season and having hit 656 career home runs entering Tuesday night, he’s seen just about everything and he’s been there before.
However, in hitting his 657th career home run on Tuesday night against the Seattle Mariners, he saw something he wasn’t overly happy with. And he appeared to let Mariners’ pitcher Nestor Cortes know that he wasn’t having any of it.
In the bottom of the 5th innings, with the Angels 5-2, Cortes had Pujols down 0-2 in the count. However, he decided to instill a bit of trickery into the mix, using a hesitation delivery to try and get his high-80s fastball by Pujols. “The Machine” opted to sit stoically, waited it out, and planted the pitch into the left-field seats.
As you can see from the video above, the normally reserved Pujols wasn’t overly happy with the attempted tomfoolery and he said a few choices words toward Cortes as he rounded first base. While we don’t have any confirmation as to what was said, it appeared that Pujols was giving him the business end of the conversation nonetheless.
It’s not hard to see why Pujols was displeased with the attempt. During his time in Anaheim, he’s never quite been the hitter he once was in St. Louis, and those struggles had been evident getting out of the gate in 2020. Entering the game last night, he was just 1-for-13 on the season. The home run on Tuesday was part of a two-hit performance and that may be what Pujols needs to get things rolling this season.
With the home run, Pujols moved within three of Hall of Famer Willie Mays on the all-time list. Passing Mays would put Pujols in fifth place all-time, trailing only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Alex Rodriguez.
The Angels will look to build their own momentum on Wednesday when they again meet the Mariners. Right-hander Justin Dunn will be making his fifth career start, while the Angels will counter with Andrew Heaney.