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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

(Almost) Eight Inning Man: Angels 4, Twins 3

Every opposition run, every error, every chink in the Angels' armor looks like a catastrophic failing these days, so even with a 4-0 lead going into the eighth, with a tiring C.J. Wilson still on the mound, you kind of had to watch this game through your fingers lest the equally struggling Twins find a way out of their collective slumps. Of course, they did manage to get three runs between Wilson and LaTroy Hawkins (who didn't even finish the inning — Scott Downs had to complete the frame for him), making it very nerve-wracking.

Offensively, much more of what you might have hoped you would be seeing from the 2012 club, homers from Torii Hunter and Chris Iannetta, and a multi-hit game from Kendrys Morales, too. Even Albert Pujols managed to avoid another 0-fer night, so perhaps the little spat between him and Mickey Hatcher (h/t BTF) launched yesterday will be quieted. Apparently, Hatcher told reporters some insignificant details of a closed-door meeting to reporters, and Pujols took exception to it:

Hatcher told a couple of Angels beat reporters before the game that Pujols essentially stood up and told his teammates that he won't be flailing as he is all season, and that he's got first-hand experience with clubs that have conquered losing streaks and hitting slumps to win in the end.

Not exactly overly sexy stuff. Nevertheless, Pujols was not happy after Monday's game when he learned that secrets were shared.

"Mickey should have never told you guys that," Pujols said. "That stuff needs to be private. He should have never told the media.

"What we talked about at the meeting, not disrespecting Mickey, but that stuff should stay behind closed doors."

I get that Pujols is feeling vulnerable right now, so he's liable to get touchy. Expect a story in the press shortly about him snapping at a member of the media. His numbers in St. Louis and his general reputation gave him a pass from much scrutiny in that city, but his rough start in Anaheim may yet yield more contentious press relations.

Update: A minor coda on the Angels' worst April in franchise history, tied with 1976. Farewell, April, you were not loved.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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