Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and outfielder Yasiel Puig continue to build their relationship with one another, after some controversial comments were made by Mattingly during the Australia trip.
Puig went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs in Sunday’s 7-5 win against the Diamondbacks. After a ninth inning strike out, Puig left the game and headed to the locker room.
Mattingly told reporters after the Dodgers victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, about Puig’s status with the team.
“I guess his back. Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I’m not sure if they’re going to get him tests or get him to the MRI Monday or a bone scan on Tuesday, maybe. I’m not quite sure what we’ll do. We may not do anything.”
Of course cooler heads prevailed and after a conversation with Puig, Mattingly said “We’re good. I’ve got no issues with Yasiel.” Both met with each other on Tuesday to iron everything out
Mattingly went on to say, “I know Yasiel is a huge lightning rod, and anything I say is a huge story and anything he does is a huge story. Maybe I should have been more clear — the before and after were two different things.“
After returning to Los Angeles, Puig received an MRI on his lower back that showed no damage, however did receive treatment. He’s expected to be ready and playing in the season opener against the San Diego Padres on March 30th.
Puig is still learning the system, but is a huge talent that will continue to improve over time.
Dodgers starter Hyun Jin Ryu could miss his next start against the Padres due to a torn toenail that he suffered in Australia. Ryu make a sudden and quick stop at third base against the Diamondback, where the injury occurred.
Mattingly said that they will make an official ruling on Ryu’s status closer to his start day.
Behind the outstanding play of Yasiel Puig who continues to impress the masses, as Clayton Kershaw had a spectacular outing with his second complete shut out of the season. Which aided the Los Angeles Dodgers in a dominate defeat of the Colorado Rockies 8-0.
The solid throwing of Kershaw (7-5) gave up no walks and tossed eight strike outs that asphyxiated the Rockies offense all night.
Kershaw even ended the 27 game hitting streak of slugger Michael Cuddyer, who is the ninth inning flied out to right field directly to Puig for the final out.
Cuddyer and his scruffy beard went hit less on four attempts at the plate.
The Dodgers got off to an immaculant start when Matt Kemp grounded out to third base that scored Hanley Ramirez for the 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Adrian Gonzalez blasted a two run homer in the third inning that scored Puig for the 4-0 lead.
Yasiel Puig added three hits and a huge solo home run in the seventh inning that made it 6-0 Dodgers. Puig also raised his batting average to .443 coming off a dominate month June with a total of 44 hits. A record setting month for the Dodger rookie.
“Whatever league that I’m in I’m going to do the best I can. I’m going to play wherever they ask me to play,” said Puig through a translator.
Puig made a spectacular catch on the run in foul territory and avoided a collision to end an inning.
Rockies starter Roy Oswalt (0-3) was destroyed by the Dodger line up. In his first start for the Rockies, he gave up five runs and nine hits on five innings of work.
Not only did Kershaw and Puig have great outings, Hanley Ramirez prolonged his hitting streak to 13 games.
An elated Kershaw spoke about the offensive support he received on Tuesday night from his teammates.
“It’s a tough lineup right now to get through. Puig’s on another planet. You keep thinking he can’t keep this up, not just singles, he’s been hitting the ball really hard everywhere. I’ve been really, really impressed.”
The Dodgers are now just 2 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West. Hard to believe that just about a week ago, the Dodgers were 9 1/2 games out, in last place, and folks were ready to fire Don Mattingly.