Friday, July 12, 2013

Puig won't be an All-Star, hurts his hip... and still has 2 hits in a win

Thursday was quite the interesting day for young Yasiel Puig.  It started with an interview on SportsCenter, where he pretty much mentioned "playing for the fans" in some sort of form over and over.  Good interview, though.

Then he got word that, despite the huge push from the Dodgers' PR machine, he still wasn't able to grab the Final Vote in the National League, losing out to Freddie Freeman.  The whole thing seemed suspicious to me from the beginning, as I'll still hold firm that I have a hard time believing Freeman could get more votes than Puig.  But hey, congrats go Freeman, I guess.

Then came the actual game, in which the Dodgers beat the Rockies 6-1 behind a fantastic start from Chris Capuano.  Yes, you did read that right.  Capuano is about as inconsistent as it gets, but the good news is that being inconsistent means you occasionally are good, too.  And he certainly was in this one, tossing 6 1/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.  Good for him.

Puig has settled into a routine of hitting singles in between striking out.  Thursday night?  Pretty much as scripted.  Here's how each at-bat looked:

1st AB (1st inning, runner on first): Grounded into a double play
2nd AB (3rd inning, runner on first): Infield single
3rd AB (4th inning, runner on first): Infield single
4th AB (7th inning, leading off): Struck out swinging

After the last AB, he was replaced by Andre Ethier because of a sore left hip.  It was mentioned that he was possibly replaced for throwing a fit in the locker room after striking out, so who knows.  My guess is that it's a combination of the Dodgers winning, Puig was sore, he threw a fit, and he needed a rest.  Plus putting Ethier in as a sub isn't a bad option at all.

It looks like Friday could be a day off of Puig, and I think that's a good thing.  He's been going full throttle since being called up on June 3, and while his average is still excellent at .394, his slugging % is only .444 in July after hitting a whopping .713 in June.  Yes, I'm nitpicking, but it's a sign that he's fatigued at least a little bit, and that pitchers are adjusting to him with the breaking stuff on the outside.

If Puig does not appear at all on Friday, then I look for him to put on a show this weekend.  You know he'll want to show the world why he should've been an All-Star, so I look for him to swing for power on pretty much any pitch even remotely close to the plate.  And knowing him, he may just have four homers this weekend.  Wouldn't surprise me.

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