Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig had a big night at the plate Tuesday against the Washington Nationals, going 2-for-4 with a home run, triple and tying a career high with five RBIs in a 5-0 victory that snapped the Dodgers’ four-game losing streak.
Puig had been slumping a bit going into Tuesday’s game, as he has only batted .197 since the start of July. But the 24 year old believes improved results will come, as he recently changed his batting stance to help him identify pitches better. “Whether it’s hitting the cages or out in [batting practice], what I’ve been working on with my stance is just being able to pick better pitches,” he said.
“In changing that hopefully I will be able to connect better based on my stance,” Puig said after Tuesday’s game.” Overall on the season Puig is batting .246/.317/.432 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 236 at-bats. The majority of Puig’s success this season has come early in the count, as he is batting .351 with four home runs when hitting the first pitch of an at-bat, and .465 with four home runs when swinging at the second pitch.
However, Puig doesn’t believe which pitch of the at-bat he swings at carries much relevance. “No it actually has nothing to do with it,” he said. “It’s all about picking the right pitch and connecting with the ball so if it just so happens that it is the first pitch or second pitch, it doesn’t really have anything to do with my success.”
While Puig may have found a recipe to success, playing time may become more sporadic than he is accustomed to. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly recently said he intends on starting Carl Crawford in at least one game per series, with Puig getting on occasional day off — something Mattingly believes the dynamic outfielder will benefit from.