Albert Pujols drove home the go-ahead run with a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning on Sunday afternoon in Washington D.C., helping the Dodgers to their ninth straight win.
It was the fourth straight game with an RBI for the 41-year-old Pujols, matching Jeff Kent (2008) for the longest streak by a Dodger age 40 or older. In major league history, only 12 players age 41 or older had longer RBI streaks than Pujols’ current run. Deacon McGuire (1905) and Luke Appling (1949) top the list, with seven straight games with a run batted in.
“From the moment he got over here a month or two ago, however long it was, the guy has been non-stop energy, non-stop smiles,” said Max Muncy. “He loves being out there every single day. He loves working. He loves the game of baseball, and that’s starting to rub off on a lot of people.”
The Dodgers have maximized Pujols by playing him in favorable matchups. Since joining the Dodgers, Pujols has started all 11 times against a left-handed starting pitcher, and figures to start Monday against Marlins pitcher Trevor Rogers in Miami. Against southpaws, Pujols is hitting .360/.396/.700, a 199 wRC+ with five home runs and 15 RBI in 53 plate appearances.
Against right-handers, Pujols with the Dodgers is 6-for-44, hitting .136/.170/.205, which explains why he’s started only nine times in 33 games against righties, including just three of the last 22 such times as the Dodgers roster got back reinforcements.
The single for Pujols on Sunday came against right-hander Joe Ross, the second time in his four-game RBI streak that he didn’t start. He figures to have more chances to extend that streak with a likely start on Monday.
- You know about the three Dodgers that made the All-Star Game. Here are the full rosters for both the National League and American League, from MLB.com.
- Walker Buehler is identified as the most-deserving Dodgers pitching All-Star snub by David Schoenfield at ESPN, who also noted if the rosters stay as is, “This will be the first year since 2008 that no Dodgers pitcher made the All-Star team.”
- MLB officials intend to interview the woman who obtained the temporary restraining order against Trevor Bauer in their investigation of the pitcher, per Buster Olney at ESPN, who also said, “At some point, MLB officials would like to speak to Bauer directly, but it is unclear if that will happen any time soon.”