The entire Dodger game this afternoon was like one big long Puig alert siren. But it was both Cuban sensations Yasiel Puig for the Dodgers, and Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland who put on a show. It was like the Yasiel Puig show, starring Puig, and Co-starring Cespedes in a supporting role. (with Jhair as the plucky comic relief, and Uribe as the portly sidekick) Puig excelled on the field today, showing everyone his power, speed, and athletic abilities in a stunning 4 for 4 performance. Puig connected for a two-run home run, a triple, and two singles. Puig drove in two runs and raised his spring batting average to .500 as the Dodgers beat the A’s by a score of 7-1. (Cespedes cracked a home run of his own as well in a losing cause.)
With the performance more and more of the Puig supporters continue to clamor for him to be added on the opening day roster, even though there is nowhere for him to play. Carl Crawford is progressing each day and it is looking like he probably will be ready for opening day. I have urged everyone to be patient with Puig. It can hurt his development if he is not playing every day. And if Crawford is healthy, then he doesn’t have anywhere to play on the major league roster. Still, it’s quite impressive to watch. I can’t remember the last Dodger to impress this much during spring training. This game was a rout from the beginning.
In the top of the first, the Dodgers scored three runs, all with two outs. Andre Ethier walked. Then Puig who was batting cleanup, (Cespedes was batting clean-up for Oakland too) bombs one over the left field fence. It was a no-doubter to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. That’s Puig’s third home run of the spring. Jerry Hairston immediately followed with a solo home run of his own, to make the score 3-0 Dodgers. All of the damage done off of Opposing starter Dan Straily, who served up three runs on five hits, while whiffing four through four frames. Lost in all of the Puig mania shuffle was that Crawford played again and got another hit. Crawford led off as the DH, and went 1 for 4 with a single. However it was Puig who stole the show.
In the bottom of the fifth, Puig singled, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. After an error, Juan Uribe singled Jhair to second, and then both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Nick Punto’s ground ball single scored Hairston and the Dodgers were up 4-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Dodgers plated another run. Skip Schumaker leads off with a double. He moves to third on a grounder, and then scores on a sacrifice fly from Mark Ellis. Dodgers lead 5-1.
The Dodgers scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Puig leads off with a triple to deep center. Hairston follows again with a hit. This time it’s a double to easily score Puig. That makes it a 6-1 Dodger lead. They would add one more to go up 7-1.
That’s the score the Dodgers would win by. Chris Capuano pitched 5.2 innings of one run ball to pick up the win. He allowed just the one run on five hits whiffed four and walked one, and looked a lot better than his last start. He was followed by Mark Lowe, J.P. Howell, and Brandon League. Let’s not forget that Jerry Hairston went 2 for 3 and drove in two runs. Shumaker and Uribe also had two hits. yes, Uribe! I love that every time Puig would get a hit, Jhair would immediately follow with a hit of his own. It was fun to watch.
The Dodgers improve to 9-13 with the win. Oh and the Dodgers also cut three more guys. We’ll have more on this latest round of cuts later. Tomorrow afternoon the Dodgers travel to Surprise Stadium to take on the Royals at 1:05 PM, While Zack Greinke pitches in a simulated or minor league game.