Here’s the thing about Yasiel Puig, really. Clayton Kershaw just went into the toughest ballpark in the big leagues to pitch in and tossed a complete game shutout, the seventh of his career. He allowed a mere four singles, walked none, and ended Michael Cuddyer‘s 27-game hitting streak. He was phenomenal, as he always is, lowering his NL-leading ERA to 1.93, and he’s gotten his control down so well these days that he’s walked just five in his last four starts. This was a fantastic outing by the best pitcher in baseball, and we need to be cognizant of what he gives us.
But no one’s going to be talking about Kershaw, are they? How can they, when the Puig train keeps on rolling to the tune of .443/.473/.745?
We all kind of figured we’d be in for a treat in Coors Field, and that’s exactly what we received. For the second game in a row, he came up in the late innings with a chance to collect a cycle, and though he struck out against Adam Ottavino rather than tripling, it hardly seems to matter. In the first, he singled to left (before being caught stealing). In the third, he doubled off the right field wall, immediately coming around to score on a Adrian Gonzalez homer. And leading off the seventh, he absolutely destroyed an Ottavino pitch to deep, straight-away center.
I feel like I should not gloss over the fact that Gonzalez did crush a homer of his own, or that A.J. Ellis got on base four times (including two doubles), or that Hanley Ramirez & Juan Uribe each had two hits, or (sigh) that Matt Kemp went 0-5 with three strikeouts. Honestly, Ramirez is nearly as hot as Puig is, and we’re not paying enough attention to that. Fairly or not, it all seems to get swallowed up by Puig-mania… and when the team has won nine of ten games, I suppose I can’t really argue with that.
Best of all, not only are the Dodgers out of last place for the first time since May 5, they actually jumped right into a tie for third since every other team in the NL West lost. (Assuming here that Arizona isn’t coming back from a 9-1 deficit to the Mets in the ninth). They’re just three games out of first place. Well, let’s be honest here — best of all is that not only are the Giants now in last place, they’re there because they got no-hit by Homer Bailey and the Reds tonight.
That’s really just icing (delicious, tasty, icing, that’s somehow good for you) on what’s a pretty fantastic looking cake right now. What a wonderful time to be a Dodger fan.