The Dodgers 2013 season ended on a sour note and for all the good rookie Yasiel Puig did during his rookie season, Game 6 of the NLCS was arguably his worst game as a pro.
Throwing mistakes and a fielding error didn’t help and he failed to get a hit, meaning he was 0-14 with nine strikeouts in three games at Busch Stadium. On the big stage, everyone was waiting for Puig to implode as his antics draw the ire of the Cardinals and city of St. Louis, but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly acknowledged the offseason is key in talking to Chris Haft of MLB.com after Game 6 on Friday:
Sitting there watching it tonight, and it’s what we’ve kind of watched all year long, it’s like you don’t have time to work on it, really. You kind of go over it and you try to teach. You just continue to try to teach. Not just him, but all of us, really, you know? Yasiel gets excited. He’s going to try to make plays all the time, and that’s the way he is. But we’ve got to do a better job, I think, of helping him to mature and understand what we want done and the way to do it.
Puig showed off his incredible talents at the plate and in the field, but there were instances where he’d get too excited and overthrow cut-off men, allowing runners to take an extra base.
That was the case on Friday as Puig had two poor throws and compounded the mistake with a fielding error on a Yadier Molina single and had everyone jumping all over him. Not to mention, he supposedly drew the attention of the umpire crew after striking out in Game 5 and stood at home plate in anger.
There’s no doubt Puig has incredible talent and a full season from him in 2014 should be special, but an offseason to further learn the fundamentals of hitting cut off men and not playing at 100 mph will help him progress even more.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!