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Top Ten Dodger Homeruns of 2013: 4- Yasiel Puig Walks Off With Our Hearts


My favorite walk-off homerun of 2013 is Yasiel Puig‘s walk-off beauty against the Reds in late July. Puigmania was in full effect, and the excitement surrounding Puig as a Dodger fan was surely a memorable time. Yasiel Puig was the center of attention with his devilish persona which was capitalized upon and inflated by other competing teams and the media. No matter if it was good or bad press, Yasiel Puig was one of the most enticing stories in the MLB in 2013. Yasiel Puig, once called up in June, changed the face of the Dodgers and changed the game with one cannon arm of a throw. Yasiel showed the world his offensive skills too, and in July his walk-off blast showed what an important weapon he could be.

4. Yasiel Puig hits walk-off homerun in eleventh to give Dodgers win over Reds on Sunday July 28, 2013.

The Dodgers offense was having one of those NLCS Game 6 sort of nights back on July 28th. Although the Dodgers defeated the Reds 1-0 thanks to Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers only had 5 hits (one hit was from Chris Capuano himself). In fact the Dodgers set a franchise record for striking out 20 times. Puig himself struck out 3 times versus the Reds along with Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and catcher Tim Federowicz. It was one of those nights.

Reds rookie pitcher Tony Cingrani pitched seven shutout innings, and he fanned 11 Dodgers. Chris Capuano had a great start, and he only allowed 3 hits over 6 2/3 innings. {The Dodgers have just declined the 2014 option on Chris Capuano}. Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez, Kenley Jansen, and Brandon League (the eventual winning pitcher) took over for Cappy and didn’t allow a run through the 11th inning.

Yasiel Puig changed the tune of the game with one swing of the bat off Cincinnati reliever Curtis Partch. With two outs in the bottom of the eleventh inning, Puig took matters into his own hands to end the stalemate. Elian Herrera (who appeared in 4 games for the Dodgers in 2013) struck out, and Mark Ellis popped out to former Dodger Cesar Izturis at shortstop. Yasiel Puig then homered to left field for his 10th homerun of the season and his first career walk-off.

The Dodgers would begin to rack up the wins during that summer time stretch. They went 9-1 after the All-Star Break while riding the exhilaration of Yasiel Puig. With Puig’s talent comes with it controversy. Puig’s trademark bat flip coupled with an exuberant slide into home plate after his walk-off homerun fueled the ire of rabid Puig haters everywhere. The Puig criticizers always call him classless or arrogant, but the 22-year old outfielder is just playing a game and having the time of his life with it. For me, he’s very enjoyable to watch play, and he brings a level of all-out style that I find refreshingly fun. His walk-off homerun was truly one of those fun times that will be remembered.

 

“Even if three of those 20 strikeouts were mine, I just kept giving it everything I had,” Puig said through translator Santiago Mazon.

 


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