Posted July 04, 2013

Watch: Yasiel Puig scores from second on a groundball, makes circus catch, continues to excite everyone

All-Star Game, Los Angeles Dodgers, Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig's incredible pace continued on Wednesday when he led the game off with a double. [Justin Edmonds/Getty Images]

Yasiel Puig’s incredible pace continued on Wednesday when he led the game off with a double. [Justin Edmonds/Getty Images]

On the day in which he became the first player in the 56-year history of the Player of the Month award to win one in his first month in the majors, it’s time to present your ridiculous Yasiel Puig highlight of the day.

In the first inning of Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Rockies game in Denver, Puig lined a one-out double to leftfield off Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood. Adrian Gonzalez followed with a one-hopper that deflected off the glove of first baseman Todd Helton. Helton recovered to get Gonzalez at first with a throw to Chatwood, but while he was doing that, Puig rounded third and headed home. Chatwood’s throw beat Puig home, but it deflected off catcher Wilin Rosario’s glove, and he scored standing up. Check it out for yourself:

puigscore3

With the double, Puig has extended his hitting streak to seven games and lifted his batting line to an absurd .449/.478/.757 with eight homers. The man has spent 30 days in the major leagues. He’s gone to sleep with a slugging percentage below .700 on only two of those days.

With every passing day, more and more national writers are climbing on the bandwagon and calling for the 22-year-old Cuban to be part of the National League All-Star team. I can’t claim to be the first to broach the topic. Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan (who has the scoop on Puig’s defection) beat me by a few days. Since then, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman and Danny Knobler, ESPN’s Buster Olney, MLB.com’s Richard Justice, and SB Nation’s Rob Neyer have similarly called for him to be part of the team, the delicate sensibilities of NL All-Star manager Bruce Bochy and Jonathan Papelbon be damned. If you read any of those writers on a regular basis, you know that agreement among them is a rare thing. Yet they agree on this.

To reiterate what I wrote two weeks ago and have since said on about 50 radio hits: Puig is a defensible choice for the All-Star Game as it straddles its dual roles of being an exhibition for the people and a competitive means of deciding home-field advantage in the World Series. Fans, at least those buying merchandise or expressing themselves on social media, want to see him there, though the case for that may need to be bolstered by his participation in the Final Vote balloting that starts after the bulk of the squads are announced on July 7. Meanwhile, there’s little doubt that he can help the NL win, even in a bench role. One swing of the bat, trip around the bases, or throw of his could change a game, and the man has accumulated a library’s worth of video evidence to that end.

Update: In the bottom of the fifth inning, Puig crashed into the rightfield wall while making a spectacular catch on a Nolan Arenado drive, with his left thigh hitting a padded wall divider. He remained down for several minutes while being attended to by the Dodgers’ training staff. Here’s the play:

puigcatch

Puig remained in the game long enough to hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth inning but departed before the Dodgers took the field. He sustained a bruised hip but precautionary x-rays were negative, and he’s listed as day-to-day.

9 comments
Aflores
Aflores

How sad. HATTERS GOING TO HATE!!  Just because you team doesn't have a player that is as young and talented as he is. Remember too, he is doing all this after being away from baseball for over a year. so what if he points to the sky and gives thanks. He is just giving thanks, he knows how lucky he is to be playing baseball at the highest level and to living his dream. When a more exciting player comes along, he will get bumped from the sports page. He plays the game hard and fast and thanks his family and faith. There are plenty of Major leaguers that need to take notice and remember how lucky they are to be able to play the game they love in the greatest country in the world. 

ChrissyMorgan31
ChrissyMorgan31

All the negativity I read comes from one thing...jealousy! Deny it all you want (and I know you will) but every one of the haters out there would take a player like Puig in a heartbeat on their own team. His mind-blowing talent is undeniable and will still be there even when he cools down. If you wouldn't want a player like Puig, you obviously don't want to win.

morphy
morphy

sick of reading about puig and am NOT excited about him. does NOT deserve to be in the AS game.

also, how come the same writers who slammed Tebow for his bowing after a TD, let ALL Latin American players get away with raising the arms skyward and thumping their chest to praise God, WITHOUT any criticism of the same behavior?

Joebuckster
Joebuckster

So, the catcher bungled the catch on a sure out, and that's some kind of miraculous play? I can't wait for these writers to stop falling all over themselves when this kid inevitably cools off. The sportswriter's hype machine is in full swing - they must be so bored with their jobs...

Michael10
Michael10

Day-to-day? So you're saying we might have a headline about someone OTHER than Puig tomorrow?

nyhoukcdal
nyhoukcdal

@morphy Agree on AS game, but you ought to at least be excited about him.  We celebrate talent in sports.  Otherwise why watch?  Fine to root against him because you don't like the Dodgers, but he hasn't gone LBJ on us, so don't hate the man yet.  As for the demonstrations, not trying to defend either practice, but they're in different sports.  Football has player proximity, which means TT is isolating his teammates from the moment of celebration.

elric31
elric31

Aggressive base-running coupled with great speed forces defenses into errors of omission and commission. Obviously. When someone steals second because a good throw is dropped or the catcher in his haste to throw out the base-stealer  can't get the ball out of his mitt, the runner has FORCED that mistake. How long have you been watching baseball anyway?