With their backs against the wall, Don Mattingly is doing everything he can do ensure the Dodgers live to fight another day.
That includes sending an ice cold Yasiel Puig to the bench.
Andre Ethier will get the call to start in center for Game 4 in St. Louis, as Puig's strikeouts have finally caught up to him. In Mattingly's own words, this moves give them "the best chance to win today." Ouch.
Following a solid Game 1 in which he had two hits, scored three runs, and only struck out once, Puig has been just atrocious at the plate in the next two games: 1-for-8, one run, seven strikeouts. While it's certainly not all of his fault, the Dodgers have only scored four runs combined in those two games, and Puig's bad play in the #2 hole is a big reason why.
If anything, this sends a message that while Puig was an All-Star and a big piece of the future, Mattingly owes it to those players in the locker room to start the best team possible. If that means giving the long forgotten Ethier a start, then so be it. You gotta do what you gotta do.
I expect Puig to make an appearance today, and he's a pretty deadly bat to use off the bench with runners on late in the game. Of course, the Cardinals might not mind that considering all he does is strikeout now. We shall see.