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Yasiel Puig ends pitcher’s duel with walk-off homer

Jul 28, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Yasiel Puig AP

Rumors of Yasiel Puig‘s demise were greatly exaggerated. After lighting the baseball world on fire following his debut on June 3, Puig went into a skid, posting a .579 OPS in 16 games between July 3-23. The thought was that the league had finally caught up to him, but entering this afternoon’s series finale against the Reds, Puig had logged multiple hits in four of his previous five games and brought his OPS back up to .999.

Reds starter Tony Cingrani was magnificent, shutting the Dodgers out over seven innings of work, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out 11. As ESPN Stats & Info pointed out, it was the first time a Reds starter had gone seven, struck out at least 11, and allowed no more than one hit and one walk since Johnny Vander Meer in 1941. Not bad. However, Dodgers starter Chris Capuano was up to the task of matching Cingrani, shutting the Reds out over six and two-thirds innings. He allowed just three hits, walked none, and struck out four.

Both bullpens continued the scoreless affair into the bottom of the eleventh, when the Reds called upon 26-year-old rookie Curtis Partch. The right-hander quickly got two outs, retiring Elian Herrera on strikes (the Dodgers’ 20th of the game, a team record) and Mark Ellis on an infield pop-up, bringing up Puig who was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk to that point. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Puig drove Partch’s offering well beyond the fence in left field for the walk-off solo home run. Puig knew it was gone on contact, happily flipping his bat. After circling the bases, he slid into home plate as his teammates crowded around him.

.gifs courtesy @ChadMoriyama.

  1. hittfamily - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    So he gets suspended in the minors, arrested for wreckless driving in the offseason, gets fined for fighting 2 weeks after his MLB debut, and has now slid into home on a walk off homer 50 games into his first season. And ESPN is somehow puzzled as to why I didn’t vote for this guy to be part of the all star festivities.

    • abaird2012 - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

      I thought “wreckless” driving was a GOOD thing …

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        Is your name Mel Gibson?

    • hammyofdoom - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:02 AM

      Really? You make it sound like he’s the one who started the fight when both teams were out for each other. Also.. .so what if he slid into home after a home run? Game is over, let him have fun

    • yahmule - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      Boo.
      Hoo.

    • nbjays - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      ESPN is puzzled at your All-Star vote? Really?

      Self-centered much?

  2. ultra8201 - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    @hittfamily don’t be jealous you’re not a Dodgers fan.

    • mrpinkca - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      Who wouldn’t want to be a fan of the team that collects bad contracts like Ash Ketchum collects Pokemon…

      • yahmule - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:21 AM

        I dunno? First place?

        Now go feed that green eyed monster some more.

  3. Anoesis - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    You know you’re doing something right when you piss off all the other teams’ fans. Thanks to all the butt-hurt fans like hittfamily who didn’t vote Puig into the All Star game so he could stay home, rest, and show up your team. Ten games up on that moron Bochy who wouldn’t start Kershaw.

    • Uncle Charlie - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Judging by the number of doyer fans at the game today, I’m pretty sure butt hurt fans on opposing teams weren’t the reason Puig didn’t make the all-star game.

      • kingscourt25 - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

        They drew 48,000 today.

      • yahmule - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        Beautiful day at the ballpark today. Get a job so you can attend a game sometime.

      • jm91rs - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        You know as well as everyone does, 48,000 in attendance means nothing at a Dodger game. Show up by the 3rd, out the door by the 7th seems to be pretty common there. I don’t live there so I can’t comment on traffic etc, but commenting on the paid attendance means nothing at all. I watched the game last night and you can hear individual fans yelling to the players, it was pretty dead for an awesome game like that.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        jm91rs knows as well as anybody. Run with a decades-old stereotype because your life is so empty and uncreative that there’s nothing better to run with.

        Dodgers in first place. 2 million in attendance by All-Star break. 50k average in four games against the Reds. 3-1 series record.

        It’s okay that you don’t like us. It really is.

      • Anoesis - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        Then you apparently missed all the articles and comments about non-Dodgers fans who went out of their way to not vote Puig in. I’m happy about that, since the All Star game is all show and no go, and Puig needed a break. I’d also have preferred that Kershaw stay home since thin-skinned Bochy wasn’t bright enough to start the best pitcher in the majors, but Clayton decided to do his duty and show bumbling Bruce what class looks like.

  4. Anoesis - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    These gifs aren’t loading for me. If you have the same problem Puig’s homer is here: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/

  5. sav2880 - Jul 28, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Partch made a bad pitch, got way too much of the plate, waist-high, not surprised he slugged that one out.

    Watch Puig’s other AB’s on the day and you’d see that the league has figured him out, or at least the Reds did today. He can’t resist going after the up and away pitch and always misses on it, got him three K’s today. The kid’s good, but you can see the signs of him being pretty raw still.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      Yeah, saw him vs the Nats and while the Duds swept DC, Puig sucked the whole series. He obviously thinks he’s awesome, though: tried to throw fast runners out at first on singles to right a few times. Not even close, but he kept thumping his chest like he did something. He’s crude, lacks fundamental baseball skills, and has a huge hole in his swing. Tons of power and athleticism, though. Should carry him until he’s 28, then he falls off the cliff I think. Kind of a Raul Mondesi-lite?

      • recoveringcubsfan - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        Oh good, the thumbs.

        Hey, does anyone remember how in game 2 of that Nats series, Puig thought he hit a home run and flipped his bat, stood admiring it, and was going to do his trot, but the Bryce Harper caught the ball about 10 feet from the wall? That would have humbled a lesser douche, but Puig just kept the attitude at 11. Are we sure Castro didn’t just let him leave?

      • egb234 - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:54 PM

        It’s funny that you think you can say tear him down and predict his downfall six years out–all in a few sentences. Then, we people go so far as to–gasp!–click a thumbs down on your comment you get all butt-hurt and come with more of the same.

        My two cents:

        Puig is very talented. He is still raw, but there’s a lot there to work with. Any predictions–hall of fame or out of the league–are way too early.

        A lot of it depends on attitude. People have been quick to judge Puig, but we don’t know what he’s like yet. The fact that he pisses people off is totally irrelevant. People hated Pete Rose and Kurt Gibson for how they played all-out and people loved A-Rod for being clean-cut and respectful. Real life isn’t that easy.

        Sliding at home on a walk off is new, but five years ago there wasn’t a party at the plate for every game-winning hit, so you could argue the whole thing is too showy. Via translator he said he had a friend who got hurt jumping into a home plate celebration so he thought he’d be safe. Not really worth complaining about.

      • yahmule - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:31 AM

        Say, how’s your Cuban free agent signing doing so far?

    • notsofast10 - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:45 PM

      Yeah but if you pitch him up it better be 94 to 95 like Cingrani was today or he will deposit it into the bleachers in a hurry!

  6. losanginsight - Jul 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    What have you done for me lately?
    Let’s Go (1st place) Dodgers!

  7. dodgerdave619 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Hittfamily u r retarded!! My bias to the side he is hands down the hottest player in MLB! Besides Miguel Cab can u me someone else?? Go ahead I’ll wait!! The allstar game is for the fans and we as FANS wanted to see him!! Go ahead and keep ur dumb thoughts to urself!!

  8. barroomhero80 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    LoL you idiots hating would love to have his bat on your team. Chumps

  9. dodgerdave619 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    sav2880 ur an idiot too

  10. dodgerdave619 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Anoesis well put! Nuff said!!

  11. dodgerdave619 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Uncle Charlie and u r as retarded as the rest these clowns!

  12. hildezero - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    @losanginsight

    They’re gonna lose that first place spot soon…

  13. dodgerdave619 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    recoveringcubsfan ur dumbass forget he has thrown runners out at first on little singles?? Lol!! Cubs! Lol!! U must be bartman!!

  14. scdocal - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:38 PM

    Love how they don’t mention the 3 strikeouts on balls he couldn’t hit with a broom stick. He will fall out just like Franceour did. You guys should be winning. You only have one of the highest payrolls ever.

  15. ddmcd1974 - Jul 28, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    Baroom we have Machado and Davis so I don’t think your speaking to me, right?

  16. yahmule - Jul 29, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    I was at the game. Cingrani and Capuano were great, but home plate was enormous all day. Cappy had four called strikeouts in the first three innings. Both dugouts were bitching throughout.

  17. kicksave1980 - Jul 29, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    I’m not saying anything one way or the other about Puig. He’s obviously shown a lot of promise, and that’s a good thing.

    What DOES suck though is that this guy is quickly becoming Tebow-like with fans. You’re either a “hater” or you think he craps ice cream. There’s no middle ground, and every time anyone writes an article about Puig, it brings out the worst of both sides in the comments section.

    • yahmule - Jul 29, 2013 at 4:51 PM

      Yeah, he got ESPNized but good.

  18. stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    The funniest part was Puig’s explanation of why he slid into home.
    He said he wanted to slid because he had a teammate get hurt jumping on home plate by landing on someone’s foot. As if sliding couldn’t possibly result in his teammates piling on/mobbing him while he was on his back! Great stuff.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Something was lost in the translation. Yeah, right. Puig’s a beast and the Dodgers are way better for having him. I don’t think they are as good as baseball’s best club: the St. Louis Cardinals.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Puig is definitely a beast. I can’t wait to watch him play.
        At this point…all I have seen are highlites/replays.

        And I don’t know about those Cardinals Jimee. They just got swept by the Braves.
        And have (5) against the Pirates (with one being a doubleheader) and then finish the trip with 3 against the Redlegs. This road trip will tell us a lot…but starting out 0-3 ain’t helpin’!

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM

      Did you see Kendrys Morales a couple years ago? Better yet, have you seen Kendrys Morales since he hit his walk-off a couple years ago?

      Exactly.

      No doubt Puig is colorful and has a lot to learn about playing the game the right way. Thankfully, he’s got some Latino superstars on the team to talk him into calming down. Without Hanley and Gonzalez there to help guide him he’d might give manager’s migraines. As it is, he’s able to succeed and grow. He’ll continue to get better, both as a player and teammate.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Oh I am with you 100% Sandy. I just thought his “reasoning” was comical.
        As if sliding prevented the possibly of injury. Yep…no chance sliding could result in your teammates immediately piling on resulting in an injury.
        I know you get your balls busted a lot about Puig’s antics/style.
        But it isn’t from me…and most likely won’t ever be from me.
        I am a big fan and think he is great for the game.
        I am just ready to see him play. Live. Be it on TV or in person.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        Don’t ever be concerned about my anonymous self on these boards. Smack happens.

        You’ll see Puig live and in person soon enough. Next week…. it’s on.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:42 PM

        Phuqinaright it’s on! It’s on…in a big way! I just hopes it’s “on”…so I can watch it.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        The Reds series was great, and I expect more of the same from the Red Birds. 4 games of to battle that overall record between the two back to and over .500.

        You’re always welcome to mi casa, Compadre, where a Roku and Volcano await.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 29, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Ahhhh! A Roku and Volcano.
        One of these days I am gonna’ take you up that Sandy!

      • jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM

        KoufaxMitzvah: if the Dodgers continue to play at such a high level, they will win the World Series! It won’t be easy, and pitching and defense will be essential. They don’t call Mattingly “Donny Baseball” for nothing!

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jul 30, 2013 at 7:07 AM

        I agree, JJ. When first hired, I thought Donny was the wrong man for the job; but he has proved me wrong. He is respected in the clubhouse and defends his players. I’m glad he made it through the first terrible part of the season, and I’m glad others see him as the good manager he is. Thanks for the kind words!

  19. jimeejohnson - Jul 29, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    St.Louis1: those dang Pirates are going to challenge the Red Birds for a pennant, and you’ve go to admit: it’s been a damn long time for those Pirates. I don’t see the Cardinals folding like the Red Sox did, though. They don’t have a chump like Papelbum to give the season away!

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