On what wound up being the final game in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2014 postseason run, Yasiel Puig, the team’s electric outfielder and often times a spark plug, was not in the lineup.
Puig went 2-for-4 with one RBI and three runs scored in Game 1 of the National League Division Series, plenty of the attention was placed on his minor involvement in the dust-up between Adrian Gonzalez and Yadier Molina. Adam Wainwright hit Puig with a pitch on his left shoulder, which Gonzalez took exception too and it led an exchange of words with Molina and benches clearing.
Puig went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in Game 2 and had a brief exchange with Molina before being ushered towards the dugout by the home-plate umpire. Game 3 didn’t come with significantly better results and Puig was not in the lineup for Game 4.
It was revealed prior to Game 4 that Puig wasn’t only struggling at the plate, but also physically. According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Puig had been playing through an ankle issue:
I have a problem with my ankle, but I had to continue playing because we have to advance to the next round.”
Although he didn’t necessarily show signs of being hindered, Puig added the ankle bothered him while playing the outfield:
When I go to look for the ball, my first step bothers me. But I’m receiving treatment.”
While Puig didn’t state the ankle affected him at the plate, his eight strikeouts in 12 at-bats may suggest otherwise. Prior to hitting a triple in the sixth inning of Game 3, Puig had struck out seven straight times, which was one shy of tying the record for most consecutive strikeouts in a single postseason series.
Puig scored the tying run of the game after the triple, but followed it up with another strikeout in his eighth-inning at-bat, which was his final one in the series.