For as stellar of a 2017 season Yasiel Puig is having, his baserunning blunder in Saturday’s loss was reminiscent of his head-scratching ways from previous years. With the Dodgers trailing the San Francisco Giants by one run, Puig was caught stealing for the final out in a 2-1 loss.
He went into second base without a slide, and on his own accord. “I don’t know what happened,” a visibly frustrated Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said postgame. “He went on his own and decided not to slide. It’s hard to explain.”
In addition to taking the bat out of pinch-hitter Chase Utley’s hands, Puig came up gimpy on the play and limped off the field. He was evaluated for ankle injury but indications are it is nothing serious.
“It bothers me a little,” Puig said through a translator. “But I’m OK.” He added the lack of a slide was due to twisting his ankle.
Puig explained the sequence as simply trying to take advantage of what he perceived to be a slow delivery by Sam Dyson. “I was trying to get myself in scoring position to score the tying run,” Puig said. “If I would’ve been safe, we’d still be playing.”
No matter Puig’s positive intention, Roberts was clearly angered by the decision. “Can’t get thrown out right there, can’t happen,” Roberts said.
“It’s a bad baseball play. Plays like that, when you’re trying to win a championship, can’t happen.”
With the loss, the Dodgers enter play Sunday leading the Cleveland Indians by one game, the Houston Astros by 2.5 games and Washington Nationals by 4.5 games for the best record and home-field advantage through the World Series.