Dodgers News: Yasiel Puig Explains Tongue-Wagging Celebration
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Yasiel Puig went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a pair of extra-base hits, including an awe-inspiring leadoff triple to left field in the seventh inning of Game 1 of the National League Division Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers took an early lead and pulled away late to drop the Arizona Diamondbacks.

While Clayton Kershaw earned his first career playoff win at Dodger Stadium, and Justin Turner tied a franchise postseason record with five RBI, the attention very much revolved around Puig. Not so much for his production at the plate, but instead curious decisions with his mouth.

After fouling a pitch off in the first inning, Puig licked the barrel of his bat. It’s been coated with pine tar, so his reaction was as you’d might expect.

“He’s done that all season,” Kershaw said of the oddity. “I never asked him (why). I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like the most sanitary thing to do, but if he keeps getting hits, I hope he does it more.” Not long after Kershaw’s comments, Puig said he’d continue doing so.

Upon going headfirst into third base on his hard-hit grounder that rolled to the wall in left field for a leadoff triple in the seventh inning, Puig stuck his tongue out and wagged it at his teammates in the dugout.

“When I slide, that’s my reaction. I go like that,” said Puig while reenacting the tongue wagging. “Because my teammates, I see my teammates so excited on the bench, and I don’t know. I don’t know why I feel maybe ice cream is in front of me or something like that. J.T. likes it.”

Turner was with Puig in the interview room but was sure to leave an empty seat as a sort of safety zone from his eccentric teammate. “That’s exactly how he did it,” Turner said.

Replay of Puig’s hit showed Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pop up to the top step in the dugout, seemingly out of surprise a ball hit to left field would result in a triple. As for Puig’s antics, Roberts viewed it as par for the course.

“That’s what Yasiel does. He’s called the ‘Wild Horse’ for a reason,” Roberts said. “So sometimes you shake your head. Sometimes you smile. But he’s a heck of a talent, and he helped us win a baseball game tonight.”