With the game tied in the bottom of the 11th with two outs and no men on, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig came to the plate.
Puig had been 0-for-3 on the day with three strikeouts and a walk, but never try to tell “the Wild Horse” what he can or cannot do. Puig took a second-pitch changeup deep to left field for a walk-off home run. The Dodgers won the game by a score of 1-0 and won the series 3-1, but these two wins were based on luck.
If I had told you before the game started that the Dodgers would only have five hits and 20 strikeouts, you would never have believed me if I told you they would win — but that is exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon.
Setting a new franchise record with 20 strikeouts is an atrocious display of plate discipline. Of those whiffs, the first 12 were all swinging and only a total of two were called out on strikes. This is clear evidence that the Dodgers were flailing wildly and not making contact.
I will not take away credit from Cincinnati Reds starter Tony Cingrani, who pitched a brilliant seven innings, striking out 11 batters. However, there is no excuse for the Dodgers to strike out that many times.
Thanks to Puig’s exciting walk-off home run, the Dodgers took a 1-0 win from the Reds, but the opposing side’s goose egg shows the true MVP for the game: the Dodgers’ pitching staff.
Chris Capuano had received piles of criticism from fans and writers recently. His performance today will remind them that he can still pitch a gem from time to time, and hopefully it is the beginning of the turnaround of his season. Coupled with an absolutely brilliant bullpen performance and Brandon League’s bizarre third win of the week, the Dodgers escaped what ought to have been a loss.
The Dodgers are now 26-6 in their last 32 games and are undoubtedly the hottest team in baseball.