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This Machine kills baseballs: Red hot Albert Pujols leads Angels to 4-1 win over D-backs

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This game was a pitching duel between Garrett Richards and Jeremy Hellickson, but it was eventually busted wide open by the The Machine, Albert Pujols.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Angels 4  Diamondbacks 1

"It's my belief that history is a wheel.' Inconstancy is my very essence,' says the wheel. Rise up on my spokes if you like but don't complain when you're cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it's also our hope. The worst of time, like the best, are always passing away." -Boethius

To some, that is Boethius, a sixth century philosopher, expounding on the cyclical nature of the world in the written work The Consolation of Philosophy; I like to think he was talking about what it’s like to watch the 2015 Angels. There have been many ups and downs this season, and the wavering lineups, call-ups and myriad screw ups all seem to either precede or follow an exhilarating win. For the past two games, the Angels were cast back down into the depths, and it looked to be the same for this evening’s game against Arizona. But the recent savior, Albert Pujols, had other ideas. Tonight, the wheel would begin to rise, all on the shoulders of the hottest first baseman in the game.

Tonight featured great starting pitching from the Diamondback’s Jeremy Hellickson and the Angels’ Garrett Richards. It was a tight, low scoring affair throughout, and while Richards looked the shakiest, especially getting into jams with men on a couple times, it would eventually be Hellickson who made the biggest mistake.

Arizona got on the board first, with an A.J. Pollock sac fly against Richards in the second inning. There were times when the flood gates could have opened up wide and submerged the young righty  in more early inning self doubt, but his poise shined through in the heat of the moment, and he escaped unscathed. In seven innings Richards would just give up one run, four hits and three walks, while striking out four.

Hellickson, on the other hand, would look almost flawless throughout his start, allowing only the random single here and there, like from rookies Kyle Kubitza and Carlos Perez, and an infield single from Mike Trout. His night would quickly turn for the worse, however, in the sixth, trying to hold on to a that one run lead. Mike Trout walked, getting on base for the second time of the game, setting the stage for some more Vintage Albert Pujols that we’ve all become quite addicted to as of late. He absolutely crushed a Hellickson pitch well over the centerfield wall and into the bowels of the rockpile, his 19th HR of the year. The Angels slugger has been a large component of their offense lately, such as hitting the lone RBI in last Saturday’s game against Oakland. He’s also the MLB Player of the Week, and if he continues this pace, he’ll be in Cincinatti in July. The Angels...okay, Albert Pujols...picked up Richards tonight and set him up to get the win; the kid deserved it, as he pitched his second good start in a row, totally burying his first inning implosion in New York.

The Angels would also do themselves a favor by getting some insurance runs in the eighth via a David Freese two-run shot. With a 4-2 lead, Huston Street came into the game in the ninth, and shut the door.This game was a perfect example of Boethius’ vision of a .500 baseball club; sure, there may be bad days, but they are always passing away. Just like how the last couple duds of baseball games then lead to tonight’s heroics, Pujols’ blasts and Garrett Richards exaltations. The Wheel is rising up, and with it the Angels. Enjoy it, for now.