I got this, boys

Looking up with childlike anticipation into the pure nighttime Dodger sky, Yasiel Puig sees the one-out, ninth inning, Kyle Blanks fly ball that he’s going to catch and then rifle back from the warning track to double up Chris Denorfia at first base to end the game.

Yasiel Puig went 2 for 4, and the home runs came from Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke, but his arm will be the legend of his major-league debut, a 2-1 Dodger victory. That throw was a work of art.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Great Debut!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I remember seeing Raul Mondesi make throws like that from the track in Right. Welcome to the Bigs Puig – glad to have ya.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Reminds me of Mondesi a lot, too. I’d take that career but he may have even more talent.

      • Anonymous

        Hopefully, Mondesi (who had some problems) is Puig’s floor.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    That was a brilliant end to what I hope is just the start of a fine career.
    Puig said, “okay I get on base, no one drives me home, this closer guy looks wobbly, I better take care of this myself. BOOM!”

  • Anonymous

    I was at the game tonight and you could sense something special in this kid. He injected an energy that has been missing all season.

  • Anonymous

    League was about to blow that save, too.

  • Anonymous

    League threw 4 strikes out of 13 pitches

    • Anonymous

      and was behind in the count on every batter he faced.

  • Eric Enders

    Whee, that was fun.

  • Anonymous

    any of you see this part of the play?

    Puig’s magnificent throw was made possible by an old-school fake at
    second base by Luis Cruz and Nick Punto. The Dodgers’ middle infielders
    made phantom tosses toward each other as Denorfia — off with Brandon
    League’s pitch — hustled toward second and Puig retreated for Blanks’
    deep drive.
    “We were both doing the flipping [motion] at the same time,” Cruz
    said, grinning. “He slid headfirst. Then he had to get up and get back.”
    When Gonzalez peeked and saw that Denorfia was detained, he figured Puig had a shot at the double play.
    “He was coming across [the warning track],” Gonzalez said, “and it was
    just a quick set and [throw]. We all know he’s got a great arm; we saw
    that in the spring. That was a great play. It started with Nick and
    Cruzy giving him a chance.”

    • Anonymous

      You can’t teach that kind of grit.

    • Anonymous

      This was lost in every replay I saw. Thanks for the update. Little things win ballgames and while the throw was HUGE, it wouldn’t have got the out without Cruz and Punto.

    • Anonymous

      Wish I could have seen that. These TV guys are always in extreme close-up mode, forgetting that there’s more to the game than the flight of the ball.

    • Anonymous

      Do infielders never not do that?

      • Anonymous

        Not the good ones. Kudos to Cruz and Punto.

  • Anonymous

    Here is the question of the day – which comes from over-hyping Puig first game in MLB: Who do you like for Rookie of the Year – Puig or Ryu? Who would you prefer?

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      Doesn’t matter just as long as it’s a Dodger and the winner and runner-up Dodger sign my jersey’s ^_^

    • Anonymous

      Guess I’d have to prefer Puig win it over Ryu for the simple fact he’s an every day player and would therefore have a greater impact on the team’s total W-L record at the end of the season.

  • Anonymous

    Add this to the list of Puig’s accomplishments last night: He hung a big For Sale sign around Ethier’s neck. Kemp, Ethier, Crawford, SVS, Puig: Which one goes? Remember Pederson is ripening on the vine, as well as Castellanos. Ned won’t keep 5 real outfielders in LA, not as long as he has Hairston and Schumacher. Castellanos really needs to start becoming a third baseman, the writing is on the wall…

    One negative accomplishment for Puig: He saved League’s job for another month. He was well on his way to blowing another save which might have been enough to cost him the closer job but Puig’s heroics means it’ll take another month of blown saves before Mattingly gets the guts to remove him and his nauseating tattoos.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      I wouldn’t worry as much about Castle–alas, his D is pretty bad everywhere (and I can’t see him being a good 3rd baseman since he has trouble enough at 2nd) and his bat has some holes. But as for the others, file this under Good Problems to Have. I don’t know if anything will happen this year though it depends on where Dodgers are in the race in July. If really, really out of it for sure by then, maybe Ethier gets traded. Depends on Kemp and CC’s health, too. I really woud hate to see Joc get traded since I’m excited about him, too.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed with underdog – Castellanos has looked utterly expendable to my eyes. His membership in the Overgroomed Major League Stubble Club isn’t doing him any favors either.

    • Anonymous

      Puig won’t save League forever. League is perfectly capable of blowing the closer job all by himself.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Juan Uribe, Punto and Ellis all have good career #s vs Clayton Richard. Some SSS but still.

    And then I looked up Hanley Ramirez’s numbers vs Richard.
    He’s 9 for 10. Yes, you read that right. .900.
    Oh and a walk, too, for good measure.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/7488/batvspit;_ylt=Ajq4ac14pYn6kGJQU4YTwYaFCLcF?year=career&type=Batting

    Pretty sure they’re activating HanRam today.

    • Anonymous

      You are correct, sir.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, of course, all credit goes to League for getting Blanks to hit into the routine DP.

    • Anonymous

      Your tongue is firmly in your cheek there. Of course League doesn’t want to be as bad as he is and there is evidence he was not always so. I wonder if he is just incapable of operating under the sudden death pressure of a closer. It would make good sense to try him in the 6th and 7th innings, he might prove to be an asset in those circumstances. So naturally they won’t try it.

      • Anonymous

        League has operated as a closer before, so not sure that it is a pressure issue. One should use him in less pressure situations if only to minimize the costs to the club of his poor performances.

        • Anonymous

          League was actually better as a closer last year than as a setup guy. Small sample size though: he only closed 14 games. I sure would like Ned Colletti come watch me work for 10% of the year and then sign me for a lucrative three-year contract. Who do I call?

      • Anonymous

        I’d never question League’s effort; it’s just that he’s incapable of throwing unhittable strikes. He’s only suitable to be a mop-up guy.

      • Anonymous

        Howell may be the most under appreciated, under utilized guy in the pen this year. Not sure about closer’s stuff, but I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him take some of Bellasario’s assumed innings.

  • Onlyatriple

    Regarding the double play in the 9th: I notice that the runner was out without Gonzalez having to tag him. But when a runner on first is picked off by the pitcher, the first baseman has to get the tag down. Same thing in a rundown. When is a tag of the runner necessary and when is it not? I’m guessing it has to do with it being a force play or not, but why is what happened last night a force play? And as long as we are on the topic of tags, what constitutes a legitimate tag? Any part of the mitt with a ball in it touching any part of the runner?

    A related question came up in my 10 year old’s Mustang game yesterday, and I realized that after decades of following the game, there are still some pretty basic rules I don’t understand, this being one of them. Fortunately, I have a lot of incredibly smart DT readers to whom I can turn on this. Thanks

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      It considered a force play since the runners has to return to his original starting position any caught fly balls:
      http://www.baseball-almanac.com/rulemenu.shtml

      7.10 Any runner shall be called out, on appeal, when-

      (a) After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged;

      legitimate tag is just as you said

      • Anonymous

        Legitimate tag could also include touching the runner with the ball in your bare hand, as long as you don’t drop it.

        • Anonymous

          Bu when you tag the runner you nullify the force out.

    • Anonymous

      Personally, I thought the runner beat the throw last night. The umpire actually hesitated before his call, he was probably thinking that ‘good theater’ overrides absolute correctness sometimes. I disagree with lots of umpires calls, at the plate and on the bases. It seems to me they give the fielders ‘style points’ if they look good making the play. Many times the runners foot actually touches the bag before the tag is made elsewhere on the runner but if the fielder does it with a flourish, the ump rewards him with an out call. They are impartial on that at least, so we win some, we lose some..

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        the delay was to make sure which umpire was going to make the call, Home or first base

    • Anonymous

      This game lost its swagger when they did away with throwing the ball at runners as an option.

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        ^_^

      • Anonymous

        Imagine getting hit by a throw from Puig.

      • Anonymous

        Steve Garvey would have gotten a lot of outs if he could have retired runners by “soaking” them.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta love that ‘gun’ from the RF warning track all the way to 1B last night….
    ….
    Such power and precision at such a long distance….

    …..
    Yasiel Puig = “The Sniper” :-)

    • Anonymous

      I like the nickname.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

        How about, “El Asesino”?

  • Anonymous

    Where’s Hanley, I’m getting nervous…

    • Anonymous

      He’s in tonight’s announced lineup.

  • Anonymous

    From John Buccigross via Twitter:
    Outside the Lines has learned that MLB is preparing to suspend Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and others connected to Biogenesis clinic in Miami

    • Anonymous

      Wow!

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    #Dodgers lineup vs. #Padres:
    Puig RF

    M Ellis 2B

    Gonzalez 1B

    Ramirez SS

    Van Slyke LF

    Uribe 3B

    Schumaker CF

    Federowicz C

    Lilly P

  • Anonymous

    Great to see Hanley back!

    • Anonymous

      I agree, interesting that Eithier sits

      • Anonymous

        Lefty on the hill

        • Anonymous

          I thought as such, I just sense (even from this far away) there is possibly some more to it (maybe not). It will be interesting to see if Puig stays when Kemp (and Crawford) returns

          • Anonymous

            Agree. Lefty right platoon with Ethier? A dealing of Ethier? I guess we’ll find out.

          • Anonymous

            Van Slyke deserves to stay as well

          • Anonymous

            From too few outfield bats to too many. I agree with you again.

          • Anonymous

            I know it’s not as simple as this, but with Hairston, Punto and Cruz (shudder) as infield backup, trade Schu and Ethier for 3rd base/ bullpen help. This would leave the ideal lineup as C – Ellis, 1st – Gonzo, 2nd- -Mellis, SS – Hanley, 3rd – Uribe (or someone new), LF – Crawford/ Van Slyke, CF – Kemp, RF – Puig.
            Jerry can assist Van slyke in providing outfield depth.
            I guess having everyone availiable at the same time may be too much to ask :)

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT