Well before the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a blockbuster trade to acquire Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, they pulled off another stunner with the signing of Albert Pujols after he was released by the L.A. Angels.
On Saturday, Turner and Pujols hit two of the Dodgers’ three solo home runs off Rich Hill in a 4-3 win over the Mets. It was Turner’s first homer since being traded to the Dodgers. Meanwhile, Pujols’ blast was more of the same production he’s provided against left-handed pitching.
The future Hall of Famer has garnered endless praise from all members of the Dodgers organization, and that’s now extended to one of his newer teammates.
“It’s unbelievable,” Turner said of being Dodgers teammates with Pujols. “When he’s up to bat, I love looking at the scoreboard because they usually put career numbers up there. This guy’s got 500 hits or whatever it is, and the RBI, runs scored, he’s done so much in this game.
“It’s fun being his teammate. I didn’t necessarily know who he was as a person, but he’s a happy guy. He loves being here, he loves enjoying his teammates. It’s been fun and special to share a field with him.”
Since signing with the Dodgers, Pujols has not only accepted a bench role without issue but also provided leadership. He additionally has been credited by Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner, among others, for infusing the team with energy much in the way Scherzer and Turner now are.
Roberts: Pujols added immense value
Pujols’ contributions on Saturday, which included an unassisted inning-ending double play, provided Dodgers manager Dave Roberts with yet another opportunity to heap more praise.
“He’s been a game-changer. We weren’t really betting on what he did in the past. To play for our club, we expect performance. So that was the bet,” Roberts said.
“To know that and expect him to come in here and impact our club offensively, and to see it play out as such, is great. In the clubhouse, what he’s done for our veteran guys, younger players, pitchers, relievers, all of the above, he’s impacted in some way.
“So that’s stuff that’s not really tangible, but the guys that are here day in and day out, it’s been something that will be sustained even when Albert is gone.”
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