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By Jon Weisman
It’s so like that Yasiel Puig to lurk in the shadows.
The big story right now, after tonight’s 7-0 victory over San Diego (recapped by MLB.com), is that the Dodgers are the first team since the 1963 St. Louis Cardinals to begin a season with three consecutive shutouts.
But the Dodgers have also scored 25 runs in the process, and Puig has played a powerful part.
So to recap: Puig this year has 9 batted balls. 7 are above 100 mph. 8 are above 98 MPH. Good lord.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) April 7, 2016
His eighth-inning home run, matching Kenta Maeda for the team lead, exclamationed this opening salvo from Puig: 6 for 10 with two walks, two triples, the home run and a hit-by-pitch. That’s .600/.692/1.300/1.992 if you’re tracking at home.
As joyful as the results are, it’s the execution to all fields that’s been eye-opening. Here’s the rundown of his first three games …
- First inning: Struck out
- Third inning: Walked
- Sixth inning: Hit by pitch
- Seventh inning: Singled to center
- Eighth inning: Tripled to right field, then scored on error
- First inning: Walked
- Fourth inning: Tripled to center
- Sixth inning: Grounded to short
- Ninth inning: Grounded to short
- First inning: Lined out to right
- Third inning: Singled to left
- Fifth inning: Singled to left
- Eighth inning: Homered to left-center
Puig, of course, wasn’t alone. Seven different Dodgers scored, eight different Dodgers had hits, and Adrian Gonzalez walked three times.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 7, 2016
With a shutout inning apiece, Yimi Garcia, J.P. Howell and Joe Blanton closed the game out for Maeda and the Dodgers. The Dodger bullpen has pitched eight of the 27 shutout innings.
The ’63 Cardinals extended their season-opening scoreless streak to a MLB-record 32 innings before allowing a run.