The Dodgers beat the Cubs 4-0 this afternoon and avoided losing two consecutive series behind eight shutout innings Ricky Nolasco, but the story of the day was the benching of outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Puig was replaced in the fifth inning by Skip Schumaker and it wasn’t known what the reason was at the time. It was later announced during the game that Don Mattingly pulled him due to “managerial reasons” and Puig sat and watched the Dodgers victory.
After the game, Mattingly told the media about why he decided to make the move during the game:
It’s not action against Yasiel. Today is just a decision, simple decision. I felt like at that point in the game, Skip gave us a better chance to win. I want to keep it in house and there’s no reason to discuss reasons.
There were several media members who suggested Mattingly bench Puig for his lackadaisical base running and his inability to hit the cutoff man from the outfield. During the series with the Marlins, Puig got a “routine” day off, but made matters much worse when he arrived late to the stadium and was fined.
Mattingly had a closed door meeting with Puig and the issues seemed to be behind him, but it sounds like what he did this afternoon was unacceptable to everyone in the locker room.
With Matt Kemp on his way back and Mattingly admitting that the outfielders won’t be happy with sitting on the bench, could Puig see his playing time limited? Only time will tell it seems.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Vin Scully returning next season!