It was not a quiet day at the office for Don Mattingly and the Dodgers before their 6-4 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night. Yasiel Puig was reportedly late to the stadium this afternoon. According to sources Mattingly fined him an undisclosed amount and had a closed door meeting with the young outfielder. Puig had claimed he was “stuck in traffic” since he is staying with family while down there and not at the team hotel. I of course joked on twitter that what Mattingly didn’t know was that traffic was the name of the newest hottest night club in downtown Miami. I joke of course, but yesterday Puig was reportedly seen shouting an obscenity at the media, and then seen partying the night before with Matt Kemp, Crawford, and Lebron James in downtown Miami.
I don’t care what these guys do on their own time, but let’s not lose focus here. The twitter world reported that Puig was getting a day off to get his head straight. Some people agreed with it, and some people didn’t, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give him a day to clear his head. He was out of control yesterday, screaming at the umpire from the dugout, and Juan Uribe had to shove him into the clubhouse to try and get him to calm down. But that’s just the way Puig is. So Mattingly sat him today, playing Skip Schumaker in right field instead. Kudos to Mattingly for having the balls to rest him. I think it was for the best.
Do you agree with the call to sit Puig today? Disagree? Let us know in the comments, but I tell you this, Puig was pissed about losing last night, and you just knew he was going to do something. Puig did something alright, and it was his monstrous
pinch-hit (Apparently it was not a pinch-hit home run, because Puig was double-switched into the game. My feed kept going out, so I missed that) solo home run in the eighth inning that broke a 4-4 tie and gave the Dodgers the eventual 6-4 win.
The Dodger offense put guys on base all night, but had trouble getting them in. They left a crapload of men stranded, and hit into four double plays. The Dodgers scored six runs on 16 hits tonight. They left 12 men on base and were 4 for 17 with RISP. Ellis, Crawford, Ethier, and Fedex all had two hits each. Gonzalez had three hits on the night to lead the way.
Chris Capuano the starter for the Dodgers turned in another crappy start. That’s three poor starts for Capuano now, and you have to wonder what if anything he has left in the tank. I don’t know, but he allowed three earned runs on six hits, while walking one, and whiffing one in five frames. Capuano just wasn’t missing bats tonight, but was able to worm his way out of jams. Along with giving up the obligatory first inning run of course.
That happened when Christian Yelich doubled, and scored on a Stanton ground out. The Dodgers finally got to opposing starter Jacob Turner who struggled with his command all night, issuing five walks, allowing ten hits in five frame and not whiffing one batter. Etheir and Uribe with singles, and after a Schumaker double play, the Marlins chose to intentionally walk Fedex to go after Capuano. That backfired for them since Turner was unable to find the strike zone. He walked Cappy, and then consecutive singles from Crawford, M.Ellis, and Gonzo give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
But the Dodgers couldn’t hold it. The Fish scored two off of Capuano in the bottom of the fourth. Stanton and Morrison with back-to-back singles, and Ed Lucas a walk to load the bases. An RBI fielder’s choice grounder from Ruggiano scores one, and an Adeiny Hechavarria RBI single scored the third run. That made it 4-3 Dodgers.
Game blowing expert Brandon League is asked to get some outs but is unable to do so. Shocking I know. Why Brian Wilson was not used I’m not sure, but he just sat there in the bullpen. I think the Dodgers are waiting for a low-leverage situation to ease him in. Unfortunately they had to sue League.
He serves up a single to Ruggiano, a walk to Hechavarria and an RBI single to the sub .200 hitting Jeff Mathis to tie the game at 4-4. Thank god Chris Withrow and J.P. Howell were brought in to save the Dodger’s bacon again.
Puig’s home run came in the eighth inning to lead off. He could have batted in the seventh with two men on, but Fedex’s grounder ended the frame with Puig on deck. After Puig’s home run, the Dodgers added one more insurance run in the ninth. Belisario, and Paco finished off the Fish in the eighth, and Jansen for the save in the ninth. It really shouldn’t be this hard to beat a team that is going to lose 100 games this season. Anyways, the Dodgers get back in the win column, and here’s how it happened…..
The Dodgers don’t score in the top of the first, and were first pitch swinging against Jacob Turner. Carl Crawford a fly out to center. Mark Ellis a pop up for the second out. Adrian Gonzalez doubles to right center field past a diving Giancarlo Stanton, but Hanley Ramirez pops out for the third out.
Capunao predictably gives up his usual first inning run within two minutes of the bottom of the first inning starting. Chritstian Yelich doubles to lead-off the inning. Donovan Solano’s grounder advances Yelich to third. Giancarlo Stanton’s grounder scores Yelich to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers get three hits in the top of the second inning, but of course don’t score at all. Have we traveled back to the crappy first half? Where’s the time machine? Andre Ethier singles up the middle. Juan Uribe a line dire single to right moves Ethier to third, and it looked like the Dodgers were in business with a scoring rally. Skip Schumaker’s grounder to first should have scored a run, but Logan Morrison steps on the bag at first and fires to home plate to get Ethier caught in a rundown between home and third. The double play is recorded as 3-2-6. Turner Intentionally walked Tim Federowicz, and Capunao grounds out and the Dodgers get nothing.
Capuano settles down to record a quick 123 bottom of the second inning. Capuano whiffs Justin Ruggiano, and gets Andy Hechavarria to ground out. The Dodgers don’t score again in the third. Mark Ellis a one-out single, and advances to second on a wild pitch. But Gonzo flies to left, and Hanley flies to right. Capuano makes it through the bottom of the third without allowing scorage. Catcher Jeff Mathis a single and Turner’s sacrifice moves him to second. Yelich and Solano both ground out to leave Mathis stranded at second.
The Dodgers threaten in the top of the fourth. Etheir and Uribe with consecutive singles. Schumaker grounds into a double play which sends Ethier to third. The Marlins intentionally walk Fedex to pitch to Capuano, but Turner walks him to load the bases. Crawford an infield single off of Turner’s glove plates a run to tie the game at 1-1. M.Ellis’s two-run single deflects off of Turners glove going into right field. The Dodgers score two and now lead 3-1. The Dodgers add to their lead when Gonzalez’s RBI single plates Crawford and the Dodgers lead 4-1.
But it wasn’t really enough since Capuano coughed up two more runs in the bottom of the fourth Stanton and Morrison both single, and Capuano walks Ed Lucas to load the bases. Ruggiano’s ground ball force out scores a run to make the game a 4-2 score. Adeiny Hechaverria’s RBI single into left scores Morrison and the Dodger lead is now 4-3. Capuano does get out of the inning without allowing anything more, getting Mathis to fly out, and Turner to ground out.
The Dodgers stranded more runners in the top of the fifth. Turner continued to have problems with his control. Ethier walked, but Uribe GIDP’d. Schumaker walked, and Fedex singled, but Capuano grounded out. Not sure why Mattingly didn’t hit for him there, but alright.
Capuano pitches around a two-out double from Stanton to keep the score 4-3. Arquimedes Caminero replaces Turner in the top of the sixth. But the Dodgers blow a golden chance to extend their lead . Crawford singles. A M.Ellis fly out. Gonzalez singles, but Hanley grounds into a double play.
In the bottom of the sixth, resident game blower Brandon League enters to give it up again. He does whiff Lucas for the first out, and then as usual he loses it. Ruggiano singles, and Hechavarria walks. Mathis’s single to left scores Ruggiano to tie the game at 4-4. Mathis was hitting .198. Mattingly has to bring in J.P. Howell to pitch to pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs. He gets him to fly out to left. Then Chris Withrow comes in to whiff Solano on a foul tip. The Dodgers escape.
Withrow runs into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh, but withrow is able to get out of it. Stanton and Morrison both single, but Lucas grounds into a double play, and Lucas whiffs.
In the top of the eighth, the Dodgers take the lead. With Dan Jennings on the mound, Yasiel Puig comes off the bench to clobber a pinch-hit solo home run over the left field wall, as the ball lands on the stairs. The Dodgers go up 5-4! Puig races around the bases as his teammates look on with glee. Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez combine to pitch a perfect bottom of the eighth inning.
The Dodgers tack on one more insurance run in the top of the ninth. Hanley doubles off of Ryan Webb. Ethier whiffs. Hechavarria’s throw on Uribe’s grounder is wide allowing him to reach and the throwing error puts runners at first and third. Schumaker fouls out. Uribe actually steals second, and then Fedex singles home Hanley to put the Dodgers up 6-4. Puig’s foul pop ends the frame. We move to the bottom of the ninth.
Enter closer Kenley Jansen. After a weird mound delay where the Dodgers ask the grounds crew to smooth out the mound, Jansen gets to work. Yelich a ground out. Solano whiffs, and Stanton pops out. Game set match. Dodgers win 6-4!
I don’t know if the Puig benching had any effect on him, but it hopefully gave him time to think about his actions. Puig is an extremely talented young kid, but has a lot to learn about the game at such a young age. His amazing talents are at times tempered with his base running exploits, missed cut-off throws, and emotional outbursts. When you get Yasiel Puig you get the whole package. I’m not sure to make of this whole mess. It was a huge media firestorm on twitter, and in Miami I am sure. I’m not there though of course. I’m back in Los Angeles, so here’s some good info from someone who is there with the team, Anthony Jackson. He discusses Puig’s meeting with Mattingly and the events of the last couple of days. Lost in all of the Puig hoopla is Hanley’s home coming. Hanley was in an 0 for 8 slump before his double in the ninth.
The Dodgers stay 7.5 games up on Arizona who beat the Reds today. The Dodgers (73-52) will play the Marlins again tomorrow at 4:10 PM in game three of this four game series. Tomorrow Zack Greinke will counter old friend and former Dodger Nathan Eovaldi. Don’t sleep on this one tomorrow! Go Blue.