Results tagged ‘ Yasiel Puig ’
By Jon Weisman
Pitchers paint on the edge of a cliff. They are artists, tending to a tiny canvas that hovers in mid-air, and they are adventurers who might fall at any moment.
Rich Hill took a minor masterpiece into the sixth inning tonight at Dodger Stadium. After walking two of three batters with some tremulous brush work to start the top of the second, Hill was in his element. Twelve of the next 13 batters he faced became dots on his Seuratian landscape.
In the top of the sixth, the ground beneath Hill’s easel began to quiver. With one out, Kris Bryant singled to left center, for the second hit off the Dodger left-hander. With two out, Anthony Rizzo took the first four pitches, and three fell outside the borders of the strike zone. On deck was Javy Baez, whose electric play helped the Cubs win Game 1 of the National League Championship Series and nearly Game 2 as well.
Hill raised his arm and lofted the next pitch, a 74 mile-per-hour curveball that sidled through the California air with the arc of a rainbow, landing into the glove of Yasmani Grandal for strike two.
Then, at 87 mph, Hill dropped down with a master’s flourish.
Hill pumped his fist, shouted to the heavens and handed his work to the gallery, for 54,269 art-lovers at Dodger Stadium to marvel.
The 36-year-old’s six innings of two-hit shutout ball, his finest performance since he threw seven perfect innings at Miami on September 10, were framed by Grandal, the catcher who also hit a two-run home run off Jake Arrieta in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory.
Taking a 2-1 lead in the NLCS, the Dodgers are as close to the World Series as they have been in 28 years.
Hill struck out six, giving him 19 in 13 postseason innings (13.2 strikeouts per nine innings) with a 3.46 ERA. With Joe Blanton, Grant Dayton and Kenley Jansen finishing the game, the Dodgers have thrown consecutive postseason shutouts for the first time in franchise history.
By Jon Weisman
Though the 2016 regular season isn’t officially over, the month of September is, a month in which several Dodger bats delivered.
Joc Pederson led the National League in slugging percentage (.702) last month and finished second in OPS (1.154) and fourth in on-base percentage (.452). Pederson led the Dodgers with seven homers and 15 walks.
Over to Pederson’s left — in right field — were two strong hitters. Josh Reddick rallied from a dismal August to tie for the NL lead in batting average (.400), alongside a .435 OBP and .569 slugging percentage. Reddick was due, to say the least — his batting average on balls in play went from .194 in August to .429 in September.
By Jon Weisman
A number of Dodgers had personal connections with José Fernández, such as Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher and Kiké Hernández, who all played in the Marlins organization with the All-Star right-hander.
But perhaps no one in Los Angeles was closer to the Miami All-Star, who died overnight in a boating accident, than Yasiel Puig.
By Cary Osborne
The Dodger outfield has chosen September to start asserting itself.
Perfect example — Saturday night.
The trio of Josh Reddick, Howie Kendrick and Joc Pederson went a combined 5 for 10, scored seven runs, knocked in seven and reached base eight times. And in the bottom of the seventh, Reddick pounded a Christian Bergman pitch into the Rockies bullpen for a grand slam — his second homer as a Dodger.
By Jon Weisman
As the catch was made, as the third out was recorded, as the crowd roared, as the legendary announcer uttered one more “¡Que viva Cuba!” at his final Dodgers-Giants game in Los Angeles, the outfielder’s teammates gathered in a handful near the third-base line, unwilling to wait for the prodigal son to return to the dugout.
They needed to see him there, then, on the field, in the moment.
Yasiel Puig, baseball’s living, breathing roller coaster, had done the full loop.
After the Giants’ starter told the Dodger outfielder not to look at him, the Giants’ relievers only made him want to look away.
Trailing 1-0 in the ninth inning, the Dodgers rallied against the beleaguered San Francisco bullpen, parlaying three singles and a walkoff Adrian Gonzalez double into a 2-1 victory that put them a season-high six games up on the Giants with 12 to play. Magic number: seven.
A seventh-inning brouhaha (minus the haha) between Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig on the edge of the first-base line added another layer of intensity to the Dodger-Giant rivalry, a prelude to a victory almost as cathartic as it was important.
San Francisco had one base hit that went past the infield tonight in Los Angeles, and it had nothing to do with the outcome.
Instead, what happened within the infield made the difference for 8 1/2 innings.
Taking the equivalent of a Big Wheel ride around the bases, the Giants motored their only run on an infield single, stolen base, error and wild pitch.
With two out, Eduardo Nunez hit the equivalent of an errant miniature-golf tee shot to Kershaw’s left. Three starts into his return from a disk herniation, Kershaw lunged but couldn’t reach it. Chase Utley charged to glove it, but couldn’t get a desperate throw to first in time, despite Nunez’s head-first, dirt-burst slide.
With two out and two strikes on Angel Pagan, after nearly being picked off by Kershaw, Nunez took off for second. Yasmani Grandal’s throw sliced like a screwball, out of Utley’s reach at second, allowing Nunez to slide in safely and then scamper to third.
One foul ball later, Kershaw bounced a slider in the dirt in front of home plate and through Grandal, and for the low, low investment of that 60-foot single, Nunez had earned 360 feet of bases and the shutout-breaking run.
That unearned run was the only mole on the Kershaw visage in his six innings. With the Dodgers trailing 1-0, he left for a pinch-hitter, having allowed three hits and a walk (his 10th of the season, compared with seven strikeouts on the night and 162 strikeouts in 2016).
But the Dodgers couldn’t make half the dent in Bumgarner that he made in them. Only Yasiel Puig had a hit against the Giants’ lefty, though Grandal and pinch-hitter Rob Segedin were hit by pitches.
The biggest noise came at the end of the seventh, when Puig hit a cue shot near the first-base line that Bumgarner turned into the final out of the inning. Reflexively, after yelling “Expletive yeah!” when the out was made, Bumgarner was angry at Puig,
“Don’t look at me,” Bumgarner said while looking directly at Puig, winning the approval of the Irony Committee. Benches cleared, but little came of it.
Except Bumgarner didn’t throw another pitch. Though he has crossed 100 pitches in his past four starts, Bruce Bochy decided that 97 of them to 24 batters with 10 strikeouts was enough for Bumgarner tonight, using a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth and turning the game over to what has become a notorious bullpen.
With two out in the bottom of the eighth, pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz got the Dodgers’ second hit, but nothing came of it after Derek Law retired Howie Kendrick on a fly to right.
In the bottom of the ninth, magic pixie dream hitter Andrew Toles came off the bench and singled sharply to right.
Javier Lopez replaced Law. Corey Seager, one strike away from his fourth whiff of the game, drilled a grounder past a diving Joe Panik for another single, pushing Toles within 90 feet of tying the game.
Hunter Strickland replaced Lopez. Justin Turner, also with two strikes against him, shot a third straight Dodger single to right, scoring Toles.
Gonzalez came up, and he rocked a ball to the wall in right center. Tagging up for a potential catch, Seager shifted into forward gear when right fielder Hunter Pence came up empty, and roared around the bases for the winning run and the biggest celebration at Dodger Stadium this year.
The home runs came late in the Bronx on Monday — Yasiel Puig hit a pinch-hit solo shot in the eighth inning and Justin Turner hit a solo homer in the ninth — his team leading 27th.
Just a little insurance in the Dodgers’ 8-2 victory against the New York Yankees, the second straight win for rookie pitcher Jose De León in as many starts.
But they’re worth taking a longer look at.
By Jon Weisman
I guess my wife and I picked the wrong day to take the family to Disneyland.
Exactly 51 years and one day after Sandy Koufax threw the last perfect game by a Dodger pitcher, Rich Hill nearly did the same (in a 5-0 Dodger victory). And in the process, he became the first Dodger pitcher since Hiroki Kuroda in 2008 to throw seven perfect innings — and the first ever to do so without facing another batter.
The controversy arose from the latter fact. In the overnight chatter since Hill was removed, many have had a chance to weigh in, and so with the Dodgers’ next game already about to start, I’m just going to highlight a few points …
By Jon Weisman
The Dodgers are on a little streak of happy starting pitching, at least by 2016 standards. For the 14th time in their past 15 games, their opening hurler reached the five-inning checkpoint — not Koufaxian by any means, but the majority of the game nonetheless.
This is happening while the franchise currently employs 14 relievers — no, that’s no lie — on its active roster. So with an off day beckoning in a close game, Dave Roberts played himself some cards.
The Dodgers used six relievers to handle the sixth through eighth innings, before Kenley Jansen closed the ninth for a 3-1 victory and series sweep over Arizona.
Los Angeles fared far better than San Francisco, which employed eight relievers tonight at Colorado and still blew a 5-3 lead in the ninth, to fall a season-high five games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.
Following fellow freshmen Jose De Leon, Kenta Maeda and Ross Stripling, right-hander Brock Stewart gave the Dodgers four consecutive victories by rookie starting pitchers, unprecedented in Dodger history.
After his first big-league game, Jose De León has a 6.00 ERA, a number that doesn’t come close to reflecting how good he looked Sunday.
De León, who struck out 33 with no walks in his final three minor-league games this year, became the first Dodger pitcher ever to strike out nine and walk none in his MLB debut, a 7-4 victory over San Diego.
The 24-year-old, who became the first ever to wear No. 87 for the Dodgers, had the most strikeouts in a big-league initiation for the Dodgers since Kaz Ishii in 2002.