Puig was replaced by Skip Schumaker after the bottom of the fourth inning for what appeared to be no apparent reason, though the word did come down that he was not injured. From there, speculation runs wild. Was it the fact that he didn’t slide in the first inning when Carl Crawford grounded into a double play? This sure doesn’t seem like much to me…
…and to have it take several innings to warrant a benching doesn’t make much sense. Nor does that he seemingly nonchalantly fielded a few balls in right, because there was nothing about any of them seemed out of the ordinary. Dylan Hernandez reports that it’s “manager’s decision,” and I’m sure there’s far too much to come on this.
Anyway, we’ve done it again, spending too much time focusing on Puig while looking past the real stories of the day. That starts with Nolasco, of course, who was incredible in striking out 11 against a single walk and three hits — and throwing eight scoreless innings for the second time in a row. In ten starts as a Dodger, Nolasco has a 51/15 K/BB mark, and while I was strongly in favor of the trade at the time, even I never saw it turning out this well.
Ramirez’ homer was not only an absolute blast, it was his 15th of the season in just 263 plate appearances. Ethier continued his recent hot streak by parking his 10th, and Kenley Jansen finished off with yet another dominant inning.
The win puts the Dodgers back to nine ahead of Arizona as they enjoy tomorrow’s day off, though I’m guessing it’s going to be anything but quiet. With Puig around, it rarely is.