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Behind Albert Pujols' struggles

Updated: May 5, 2012, 4:09 PM ET
By Buster Olney

Albert Pujols continues to struggle, and he was booed at home on Friday night. Pujols said he understands. From Landon Hall's story:

    He went 0-for-4 in the Angels' 4-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, lowering his batting average to an astounding .194.

    He said he'd boo himself, if he could.

    "But I know better. I know better than to get myself down," he said. "And my message to the fans is, they have a reason to boo. I'm not performing the way that I can, but just the same way I'm patient, they need to be patient and know that I'm gonna be here for 10 years. I don't read the future, but I guarantee to you there's gonna be more cheers than boos in those 10 years.

    "This is just six weeks into the season. They have the right. They pay a lot of money to come and watch me play, and I'm not performing the way I know how to perform. But I also understand I can't force it. I'm trying my best."

From ESPN Stats & Info:

Most consecutive games without a home run in a season in Pujols' career:
2012 -- 27 (active streak)
2011 -- 26
2007 -- 22
2009 -- 21
2007 -- 20

Pujols averaged more than 22 RBIs in his first 27 games of the season during his career with the Cardinals in 2001-11. This season, Pujols has just five RBIs in his first 27 games. Before 2012, the fewest RBIs Pujols had in his first 27 games was 17 in 2007.

Pujols RBIs through 27 games:
2001 -- 28
2002 -- 20
2003 -- 20
2004 -- 18
2005 -- 20
2006 -- 33
2007 -- 17
2008 -- 20
2009 -- 31
2010 -- 24
2011 -- 18
2012 -- 5

Some talent evaluators who have watched Pujols believe his issue is not that complicated: He's really anxious, expanding his strike zone. "When he's locked in, he's not swinging at a lot of bad pitches," said one scout. "But he's getting behind in the count and getting himself in trouble."

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