This week’s heat wave isn’t the only thing raising temperatures around L.A. Yasiel Puig‘s bat (and his outfield glove) are heating up Chavez Ravine as well – and the New York Mets don’t like it one bit.
The rhubarb with the Mets began in the second of this four-game series when the Mets’ starting pitcher Robert “Maybe if I have long hair, batters will think I’m Syndergaard” Gsellman threw high and hard at Puig’s head. This wasn’t the first time an opponent has chosen Yasiel to be the target of chin music. Whether he’s hitting well or not, for some reason, other teams choose to send their intimidation messages right at Puig. They don’t throw at the meaty parts of his hips, no sir. They throw right at his head, and that’s just what Gsellman did.
The tactic didn’t scare Yasiel away, as he’s had an impressive series. That night he hit a single, a double, and he scored twice. Last night, after the Mets walked Joc Pederson to bring Puig up, he hit a three-run home run that broke the game open and crushed the Mets’ hopes.
As Puig rounded the bags (after admiring his smash), Mets first baseman Wilmer Flores told Puig to run faster. Yasiel turned to Flores and vocally answered him the way he silently replied to some hecklers in Milwaukee a few days ago. The catcher and Puig also exchanged pleasantries when he crossed the plate. Puig’s leisurely stroll around the bases took 32.1 seconds. It came in as the second-longest home run trot of the season so far.
That wasn’t the end of it. Between innings Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes had a discussion with Puig as the teams switched sides. After the game Flores had this to say: “I don’t think [Puig] knows what having respect for the game is. We’re playing horribly right now. We don’t need his s—.”
Puig is red-hot. Over the past seven days he’s got 7 hits, 7 RBIs, scored 6 times, and blasted three home runs. The Mets would like nothing better than to shut Puig down, and I’m betting they’d love to do it with a fastball in the ribs – or worse yet – to the face.
The Dodgers have to know this is a real possibility – and the Mets are just bitter enough to do it. Yasiel Puig is becoming one of the best mashers on the team, and he’s by far the best defensive right fielder they’ve got. Puig must be protected, and the Mets will have to be served notice that if they throw at Yasiel, it will not be ignored.
How the Dodgers choose to deliver that message is of course, up to them. Whether the unwritten rules of baseball are fair or not, barbaric or not, they exist. Unfortunately, the Dodgers may have those rules thrown into their faces – literally.
Temperatures are rising all around Los Angeles. Yasiel Puig’s bat is on fire and the Mets are boiling over. The two teams will face each other one last time tonight. Everybody grab a fire suit, because this just might be a four-alarm affair.
6 thoughts on “Yasiel Puig is Heating Up, and He’s Attracting Heat. Look Out!”
Dodger news from around:
A note on those who may see anyone sweating high draft pick signing. Bear in mind that last year two players didn’t sign in the top ten rounds. Unless a guy flunks a physical or was never going to sign anyway, he’s signing.
Fan-Graphs on the Dodgers getting a favorable strike zone, thanks in no small part to Grandal’s framing:
www DOT fangraphs.com/blogs/the-dodgers-have-played-with-the-friendliest-strike-zone/
Keith Law had a chat:
http://meadowparty DOT com/blog/2017/06/22/klawchat-62217/
He likes Bellinger > Judge long term. Had a cryptic comment on Verdugo, comparing him to Joe Flacco (which means he’s on the edge between good and elite.)
The Ringer (and Effectively Wild’s) Ben LIndbergh on Kenley Jansen’s awesomeness:
theringer DOT com/2017-mlb-los-angeles-dodgers-kenley-jansen-walkless-streak-7f9e0249940b
“With 50 strikeouts and zero walks, the Dodgers’ closer is displaying historic control and bat-missing ability”
Finally Jeff Passan had this to say about the Marlins: Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna not yet available. Other Marlins who are: A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, possibly Kyle Barraclough.
Rockies getting pounded again by the Diamondbacks today. 10-2 in the 8th inning. Rockies pitching starting to show cracks. Their bats are still dangerous.
Adrian Gonzalez considering retirement if back does not get better…..
And that sports fans is why I do not put Chris Hatcher in any game with a 1 run lead. The guy is a run scoring machine, for the opposition. Another less than stellar performance from a starter. Outside of Kersh, Wood and McBrittle, Ryu, Maeda and Hill are the 5 inning bunch. BP starting to show the cracks.
Best team in the NL right now? Maybe.