The Los Angeles Dodgers currently sit in first place in the NL West, but have done so without the team they expected before the season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t pitch a single game in 2015 and won’t do so, Brandon McCarthy made four starts before going down for the year, Carl Crawford hasn’t played since April, the bullpen has yet to be at full strength and Yasiel Puig missed 39 games with a hamstring injury.
While the Dodgers were able to sustain these losses, the team and the offense began to struggle a bit recently just in time for Puig to get healthy and make his return. What a return it’s been for the All-Star outfielder too, as he’s 9-for-15 since coming off the disabled list. That includes a 4-for-4 performance in Wednesday night’s walk-off win to complete the sweep against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Puig fell a triple short of the cycle, but did score the winning run after drawing a walk in the bottom of the ninth inning. He had a single, home run and double by the fourth inning and was asked if he had hit anything in the gap, would he have tried for a triple.
“Nope. I don’t need a cycle. I was looking to get on base,” Puig said.
Being out 39 games, Puig was asked about what he missed when he was injured. “Not being able to play and not being able to help the team win,” the 24-year-old outfielder said. The Dodger right fielder also talked about his comfort at the plate and what he worked on when he was out.
“Nothing different, always the same. I was out for a while, so I had a lot of time to work more on my hitting. I’m trying to lay off the bad pitches and I’ve been getting better pitches to hit,” Puig said.
If he can continue his hot hitting and stay healthy, then the Dodgers will be in great shape the rest of the season.