One final thought for the evening about this Yasiel Puig guy that everyone is raving about …
At the moment, he is hitting an impossible .371, with 11 homers, 27 RBI and a .435 on-base percentage. But the thing is, even when he looks bad — and he looked REALLY bad tonight in striking out his first two times up on pitches that were way out of the strike zone, and he later GIDP’d to end the eighth inning — he finds a way to impact a game in a big way.
He did it twice tonight — once in fairly low-key fashion with a sacrifice fly to bring home Adrian Gonzalez, cap a three-run rally in the sixth and give Puig a game-winning RBI, and then later in the sort of big, electrifying way that seems to fit his personality so perfectly.
It happened in the top of the seventh, right after the Dodgers had staged that three-run rally to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead and with the Mets threatening to turn the tables. With the bases loaded and two outs, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy lifted what looked for all the world like a three-run double up the gap in right-center against Paco Rodriguez. I mean, no one was going to run this thing down, because it was in no-man’s land. But here came Puig, out of NOWHERE, to run it down right in front of the wall, and while his feet never left the ground, he did have to reach about as high as his gloved left hand could reach, because another inch on the flight of the ball and the Dodgers were staring at a 5-3 deficit.
Instead, the 3-2 lead was preserved by yet another Puig moment in a season that suddenly has so many of them despite the fact the kid’s entire major league career still consists of just 61 games.
“There was nothing I could do,” Rodriguez said. “But when I saw Puig was there, I knew he was going to get to the ball just like any other time.”
The Mets threatened again in the eighth, putting runners on first and second with two outs against Rodriguez, when Don Mattingly brought in Kenley Jansen for the rare, four-out save, something he said he only asked of Jansen because Jansen hadn’t pitched in four days. Jansen got a called third strike on Mets pinch hitter Justin Turner, who once dated Carly Rae Jepsen, to end that threat, then set the Mets down in order in the ninth, striking out Eric Young Jr and Juan Lagares to end it.
Jansen has now retired 32 of the past 33 batters he has faced. That ain’t too bad.
Good night, everyone. See you tomorrow for one heck of a pitching matchup between Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-3, 2.99) and Matt Harvey (9-3, 2.09).