Prior to the Los Angeles Dodgers having played Game 3 of the National League Division Series, Game 4 was shaping up to be an important one for the team.

Manager Don Mattingly made the decision he would start Clayton Kershaw on three days’ rest in what would either be an elimination game or an opportunity to close the series out. While the Dodgers would sink or swim with their best pitcher on the mound, the same couldn’t be said for the outfield.

Yasiel Puig, who at one point struck out in seven consecutive at-bats in the NLDS, was benched for Game 4. Andre Ethier started in place of Puig in what Mattingly said was a move that he believed gave the team the best opportunity to win.

However, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Puig’s benching may have been tied to a perceived lack of focus:

Puig, 23, angered some teammates and coaches throughout the series with his occasional lack of focus and effort in center field, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

In what may have been the final straw that led to Puig’s benching, Hanley Ramirez was forced to go out into left-center to catch a Matt Adams pop fly in the third inning. Although the play appeared to be more Crawford’s, it reflected poorly on Puig in the bench’s eyes:

One play in Game 3, in particular, “generated a lot of commotion on the bench,” according to one source.

As Game 4 wore on, there weren’t many opportunities for Mattingly to use Puig. With Kershaw going into the seventh inning, the first true chance to pinch-hit for the pitcher’s spot didn’t come until the ninth inning. However, that wasn’t given to Puig, who instead pinch-ran for A.J. Ellis.

However unlikely it may be, rumors have surfaced linking Puig to trade talks only days after the elimination loss.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

11 Responses

  1. Michael N. Norris

    rumors are just that …rumors…that kid ain’t going anywhere..the fan base would revolt

    Reply
    • Joe V

      I feel the same way Michael about the rumors that Puig is up for trade, I just wish the rumor that Mattingly is safe wasn’t true. 😉

      Go Dodger Blue!!

      (here’s a night shot I got of Dodger stadium from the hills above it)

      Reply
      • sonoran rain

        Beautiful………..How did you get it(i.e climb up the side of the hill or from a road Thanks for posting.makes me anxious for 2015

      • Joe V

        Sonoran rain, there’s a road that leads up in the hills above it. Where I was for this shot, is one of the better locations, (Angel Point) and I was asked to leave by the local authorities shortly after this as they said they were closing the gates, (a time thing) and I needed to get my car out of there.

        It’s all good though as I got this, and other shots before I had to go.

        (this is from the same location, only a bit to the right, it felt like a good prospect for black & white)

      • sonoran rain

        Amazing.at least you got those shots in before they asked you to leave. I will definitely check it out next year (I live in Vegas and try to make 5-5 games a year) All the best

  2. rudy88

    Look s to my like a way for a certain writer to get some attention, and all without merit!

    Reply
  3. rudy88

    Gotta add this! Puig is so young, inexperienced and talented that no team in their right mind would let him out of their sight, Although I remember Ramon Martinez’s brother, Pedro. being traded even after Ramon told the Dodgers that his brother Pedro, was a better pitcher then he was. Then the stupid Dodgers traded Pedro wh ended up with either 2 or 3 Cy Young awards! Shame, shame, on the Dodgers!

    Reply
  4. James Massengale

    I think The Dodgers Would Be Better Off With Out Puig…..!!!

    Reply
    • DODGERS1955

      you’ve got to remember that puig only got to the double AA team then the dodgers brought him up.he didn’t have a chance to develope. he had to learn on a day to day bases.hes going to be a super star,look back along time ago the dodgers had a chance to sign willie mays and look what he did. mays was the same almost like puig when he first came up but back then you didn’t hear about it big big mistake to trade puig, take it from someone whos been there MEEEEE. its not hard to judge a person especially when you have a stupid manager like mattingly.mattingly said he benched puig because he wasn’t hitting that’s a bunch of bull. if that’s the case he should of benched the rest of the guys not hitting to. the only ones that hit in the post season was Ramirez,kemp and of all people a.j.ellis.an other thing why get rid of Ramirez hes the best shortstop in the free agency. ya he gets hurt but look at what he does when he plays an other big mistake give him a 1 year contract then if he does what they exspect him to do then sign him to a big contract keep Ramirez or well end up having a problem at shortstop.wake up and smell the roses guggenhiem.

      Reply
  5. eas21

    Let’s compromise; send him to the minors until he decides to grow up.

    Reply
  6. [email protected]

    Rumors, Rumors, speak when you have facts

    Reply

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