After being down 4-0 in the first inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers found themselves trying to climb out of a hole the rest of the way in an eventual 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Monday night.
In the eighth inning, Angels’ first baseman Albert Pujols singled and promptly took second on a fly ball to Yasiel Puig in center. Puig was nonchalant in his effort to catch and was caught off-guard by the Pujols taking off, giving a slow runner a free base late in the game.
According to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times, Dodger manager Don Mattingly hopes that his young outfielder will take something away from the play:
It’s a little lesson for him. We talk about these guys. They’re aggressive and know how to play. If you don’t pay attention, they will embarrass you. And basically [Pujols] kind of embarrassed him out there.”
Another fly ball occurred right after and this time Puig was prepared, but Pujols had already done his job of getting into scoring position. After the inning, the Angel slugger was seen mocking Puig’s casual style as he was coming off the field. The play did not end up costing the Dodgers a run, but will serve as a reminder in the future to be aware at all times.
Puig seemed to have been humbled a bit by the play:
I have to be prepared quickly on every play,” he said. “You don’t know who will run and leave with you with the ball in your hand. He did his job and reached the base.”
Despite the embarrassing moment, the 23-year-old outfielder was not fazed by the moment:
I’m not bothered,” he said. “He’s doing his job. I go and leave people with the ball in their hand too.”
Mattingly and the Dodgers hope that this sort of situation won’t happen again and that Puig will have more of a sense of urgency with runners on base.
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