With the game tied, Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two singles in the fifth inning, but managed to get two outs and was on the verge of escaping another jam Friday.
Whereas Ryu managed to do so in previous innings, he wasn’t so lucky in fifth. However, it wasn’t entirely due to his wrongdoing. Jhonny Peralta drove in the winning runs on a double to right-center that neither Yasiel Puig or Scott Van Slyke were able to get to.
Van Slyke got a jump on the ball, but began to pull up as he sensed Puig closing in from right field. Neither outfielder called off the other and he ball dropped between the two and two runs scored.
Following the loss, Van Slyke provided his perspective on the play, via Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times:
I’m going full speed to try and catch it and then I look up and see Puig,” Van Slyke said. “It looks like we’re equal distance to the ball. It’s just one of those things, where it fell in there.”
Although it was to no avail, Puig added both outfielders gave it their best effort:
Obviously, neither he nor I could get to the ball, so we just did the best we could,” Puig said through a translator.
Given Puig’s size, speed and strength, coupled with Van Slyke’s relative inexperience in playing center field it’s understandable he would ease up if he felt a collision was forthcoming.
Ryu spoke of Puig’s aggressive and expressed gratitude over the right fielder’s all-out style, but also voiced some concern over his wellbeing:
But if anything, I’m just concerned for his safety and his health, and I just hope he doesn’t get hurt out there.”
Puig has already suffered some bumps along the way this season, one which came in Miami as he crashed into the right field fence while trying to haul in what was a walk-off hit.
To this point, Puig has managed to avoid serious injury while traversing the outfield and Friday’s lack of communication will serve as another lesson learned.
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