In the double header against the Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Yasiel Puig continued his offensive consistency into the second game Thursday night. After going 4-4 with a walk in the opening game, Puig showed that he can do it all day. These are the numbers that will put Puig into the National League MVP race by the end of the season.
The Dodgers put rookie Red Patterson on the mound for his first MLB start, but as most young fellas do, he looked a little shaky in the first inning as he loaded the bases and gave up a run. However, overall he looked solid.
The Dodgers struggled to bring in runs despite having tons of runners on base, but pulled out the victory in the 12th inning. Scott Van Slyke knocked out his third homer of the season, and Drew Butera followed that up with another homer in the same inning for his first of the season. It was a ridiculously long game, going over five hours, and the Dodgers played just well enough to win. That was the story of the second game against the Twins.
The real story is still Puig, as he’s been all season and all of last season. However, it’s his play now that is the story, not his off-the-field craziness. Puig’s defense is still in question, as he tends to miss cutoffs on rockets from right field. As long as it doesn’t lead to runs, most of that manager Don Mattingly will live with, as long as Puig is hitting the way he is, and showing up to the ballpark on time.
Before the second outing against the Twins, Puig through his last nine games racked up a .333 batting average, and .429 on the fastball. That means he’s hitting consistently, not just wildly swinging for power, which has been one of his downfalls. He continued the great hitting into the second game with two base hits, and a very impressive walk after going down 0-2 in the count in the sixth inning.
Through the fourth inning against the Twins in the second game, Puig had picked up eight straight hits in his last eight at bats. In addition to that, he’s poked in 10 RBIs in his last nine games with a .996 OPS. That’s hot folks. He may not keep this up for the whole season, but if he’s in the neighborhood of this in any kind of consistent manor, and keeps his defense solid enough, Puig’s an MVP candidate.
Not only that, having a player like Puig meet his potential this season on a roster filled with stars, the Dodgers should find themselves playing deep into October.