Yasiel Puig opened up the series against the Miami Marlins with two home runs on Friday night.
One was an absolute smash that put the Dodgers ahead in the early innings. The second one was a game winning bomb to dead center in the 9th inning with the Dodgers down to their final out.
"NEW HALF, SAME STORY."
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 15, 2017
Yasiel Puig’s celebration here seemed fitting, as he had essentially just won his team the game when they were one pitch away from losing. He did not go out of his way to showboat or disrespect the Marlins. He pointed to his teammates, most of whom looked even more excited than he did.
In his first at-bat of Saturday’s game, Jose Ureña threw a two-seam fastball that tailed in towards Yasiel Puig’s hip. Puig was visibly upset and made a few steps toward the Marlins’ starter.
The exchange ultimately led to nothing but the benches clearing and a few mean words being tossed around, but the situation looked as though it could have been avoided entirely.
There are two sides to this story.
The first is that Ureña had zero intentions of throwing at Puig. Two seamers from a righty to a righty are meant to tail inside and jam them. If Puig were to get extension on a two-seam fastball that missed out over the plate, Ureña could have said goodbye to that baseball. The pitching tailing that far in could have been a genuine miss, too far inside.
From Puig’s point-of-view, he hit two home runs, including the game winner against his former manager, who made it public that he and Puig were never on the same page. The two teams have already had the benches clear once this season and the Marlins have had a genuinely rough go over the course on the 2017 season.
There are views on both sides that could make sense, so it understandable why there was such a large disagreement.
Ultimately, Dodger manager Dave Roberts stated that he too thought Puig overreacted to the situation.
Dave Roberts saw no intent in Jose Ureña pitching Yasiel Puig inside. "Yasiel overreacted," he said.
— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) July 16, 2017
It is easy to say that Yasiel Puig needs to grow up in these situations, but when the entire league seems like they are out to get him, you can understand him wanting to defend himself.
Luckily Roberts calmed the event down immediately after the game and nothing else arose from the situation.