Before day two of Puigwatch 2013, the Dodgers placed another player on the DL, this time it was Chris Capuano with a shoulder strain. He had a sore triceps, but according to the reports, he now has a shoulder strain. Lost in all of the Puigmania was that tonight was the return of Hanley Ramirez…again. With Capuano going on the DL, that cleared room for Ramirez, who was activated and in the starting lineup tonight. Here’s to hoping that Hanley finally stays healthy this time and doesn’t catch the plague or something by tomorrow.
There was no Carlos Quentin drama. The outfielder was in the lineup tonight for SD, and received a loud chorus of boos from Dodger fans every time he stepped to the plate, but was not hit during the game. Don Mattingly had made some sly comments about how Quentin gets hit a lot, and if he gets hit, he gets hit. The Dodgers wussed out, Sanity prevailed, and there were no incidents. The thugman was the San Diego leader on offense tonight. He homered in the seventh inning, and had three hits in a 3 for 4 night.
The game featured a battle of lefties as Clayton Richard, who is having a terrible season, battled Dodger lefty Ted Lilly. The veteran lefty couldn’t pitch past the fifth inning, Matt Guerrier hurt his hand on a line drive, and the Dodger bumpen gave up some more runs. But who cares about all of that! Why? Because Yasiel Puig has taken over that’s why.
Talk about an encore from the Rookie slugger! The Cuban super prospect hit his first major league home run in tonight’s match. He actually hit two shots for good measure, drove in five runs, and got three hits, in a 3 for 4 performance. Puig hit a monstrous three-run shot in the fifth that was measured at 439 feet. The three-run blast sparked a four run fifth frame for the Dodgers which gave them a 6-5 lead. The 22 year old’s second home run, a two-run shot in the bottom of the sixth, was a line drive missile to the opposite field, landing over the wall in right. His second home run extended the Dodger’s lead to 9-6. The Dodgers would go on to win, behind Yasiel Puig’s two home runs, 9-7.
Lilly was predictably terrible, pitching four innings plus allowing five runs on six hits, and whiffing three. Lilly was removed with one on in the fifth, and gave up two home runs. He allowed a lead-off home run to Chris Denorfia on the first pitch of the game, and then a two-run shot to Kyle Blanks in the top of the second. With two outs, in the top of the fourth, Lilly melted down like a popsicle on a summer day sidewalk, when he gave up a walk to Blanks, an RBI single to Guzman, and an RBI single to Richard.
The Dodgers had climbed to within one run 3-2 when Uribe singled, and Fedex hit his second home run of the season, which was a line two-run shot to left in the second inning. Puig’s first home run in the fifth, was preceeded by a Fedex single, and a Cruz walk. Cruz also doubled in a run in the sixth, right before Puig’s second home run. The Padres were leading 5-2 after RBI singels from Guzman and Richard in the fourth, before Puig’s home run tied the game in the fifth.
Belisario gave up a run in the sixth, when Blanks singles, Guzman doubled, and after pitcher Tyson Ross whiffed trying to bunt, Denorfia’s line drive single scored Blanks to tie the game at 6-6.
Luis Cruz’s RBI double, and Puig’s second home run gave the Dodgers a 9-6 lead after six frames. The Dodgers bullpen gave another run back in the top of the seventh, when thugman Quentin homered off of J.P. Howell to cut the lead to 9-7. The Dodgers would have Kenley Jansen pitch the eighth, and then Brandon League entered to close up in ninth to pick up his 13th save of the season.
Ted Lilly of course serves up a home run to Chris Denorfia on the very first pitch of the game. That’s Denorfia’s third home run of the season. Everth Cabrera grounds out. Scott Van Slyke makes a great sliding catch of Chase Headley’s shallow fly to left. Public enemy number one Carlos Quentin steps to the plate to a huge chorus of boos. Quentin works the count even then singles to right to another loud round of boos. Jedd Gyorko’s long fly out to center ends the top of the first with the Padres leading 1-0.
Yasiel Puig leads it off in the bottom of the first for the Dodgers with a line drive double into the right field corner. That’s Puig’s first extra base-hit. Clayton Richard retires Mark Ellis on a grounder up the middle, but it advances Puig to third. Adrian Gonazlez’s one-hopper to second is too shallow for Puig to score. Gyorko looks Puig back to third before retiring Gonzo. Hanley Ramirez lines out to short and the Dodgers don’t score and waste Puig’s double.
Top of the second. Yasmani Grandal walks. Kyle Blanks homers over the left field fence to give San Diego a 3-0 lead. Lilly settles down to retire the next three batters. The damage is done though. The Dodgers rally back for two runs in the bottom of the second. Richard starts the frame by whiffing Scott Van Slyke. Uribe singles to center. Schumaker lines out to Quentin. Tim Federowicz takes Richard deep, a line drive home run over the short wall and into the left field corner. The home run is his second of his career, and cuts the San Diego lead to 3-2.
Lilly settles down to retire the Padres in order in the top of the third. Puig leads off the bottom of the third with a grounder to short. M.Ellis grounds out, and Gonzo pops out.
The Padres plate two more runs in the top of the fourth. Gyorko whiffed, and Grandal had grounded out, and then all hell broke loose with two outs. Blanks walked. Jesus Guzman singled to right, and Puig tried to throw out Blanks going from first to third, and his cannon throw is offline and wide, allowing Blanks to score. But not before he hip-checked Ted Lilly who was running in by to back up the play. Clayton Richard follows with a flare single into left to score Guzman, and the Padres now lead 5-2. Denorfia’s whiff finally ends the frame.
After Richard retires the Dodgers 123 in the bottom of the fourth, San Diego knocks Lilly from the game in the top of the fifth. Cabrera bunts for a base hit. Lilly’s throw to first sails into right field. The Dodgers immediately remove him from the game and bring in Matt Guerrier. For some reason Luis Cruz is also double-switched into the game at third base. Headley flies out to left. Quentin singles Cabrera to third. Gyorko whiffs, and Grandal lines back to the box. The liner hits Guerrier in the hand and he is unable to continue.
The Dodgers come roaring back to take the lead with four runs in the fifth thanks to a huge monster home run from Yasiel Puig. The inning starts with a one-out single from Fedex. Cruz walks. Puig crushes a Richard fastball halfway up the lefti field pavilion. The three-run shot ties the game at 5-5. Dodger Stadium goes nuts as Puig takes a curtain call. After M.Ellis walks, San Diego makes a pitching change, removing Richard for Tyson Ross. Gonzo greets him with a double into the right field corner. M.Ellis hesitated and stops at third. Hanley’s sac fly to right scores M.Ellis to give the Dodgers a 6-5 lead.
San Diego ties it up in the top of the sixth, thanks to the horrendous Dodger bullpen. Ronald Belisario gives up a single to Blanks, and a double to Guzman. Ross tries to bunt but strikes out. Denorfia’s single to center scores Blanks to tie the game at 6-6. J.P. Howell replaces Belisario. Cabrera reaches on a bunt single which loads the bases. Howell gets Headley to ground into an inning ending double play, and the Dodgers at least preserve the tie.
Puig sparks another Dodger rally in the bottom of the sixth. I still can’t believe it. With one out, Schumaker walks. An errant pick-off throw from Ross advances Schumaker to second. After Fedex whiffs, Cruz doubles down the right field line. That scores Schumaker and brings up Puig again. This time Puig goes opposite field for a line drive two-run home run to right. The Dodgers now lead 9-6! Puig takes another curtain call. That’s five runs driven in on the day from the Cuban sensation.
In the top of the seventh, thugman Quentin homers off of J.P. Howell. The solo shot cuts the Dodger lead to 9-7. Howell retires the rest of the side without incidents. In the top of the eighth, Kenley Jansen whiffs Guzman. Alexi Amarista singles, but Jansen gets Denorfia to ground into a double play.
Too bad Puig didn’t get a chance to hit again in the bottom of the eighth. He was left on deck when Cruz grounded out to end the frame.
We move to the top of the ninth, with the Dodgers still leading 9-7. Hold onto your hats, here comes Brandon League. League whiffs Cabrera for the first out. He whiffs Headley as well for the second out. The last batter is of course Quentin, who hits a line drive off of League’s leg, which bounces over to Hanley who charges and bare hands to throw out Quentin! Dodgers Win!
The Dodgers are now 2-0 in the Puig era. Could Yasiel Puig be the spark that the Dodgers need to turn this season around? I don’t know, but I do know that this kid is a very unique talent, and he should have been with the team since opening day. The Dodgers dropped the ball not adding Puig to the roster back in April.
Well, what can you do right? Let’s just continue to enjoy the Puig era. The Dodgers are now 25-32, and will go for the series sweep tomorrow night. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound, as San Diego will counter with Jason Marquis. Join us tomorrow for more PuigMania! Excuse me San Diego, but I do believe you have been Puig’d! Ha! Go Blue.