In their last two games without Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers have scored just two runs on two hits and lost both contests; they were no-hit by Houston Astros right-hander Mike Fiers in Friday’s series opener.
Whether or not the two are related can certainly be debated. What can’t be argued is Puig was in the midst of a five-game hitting streak when he came up lame in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics.
An MRI revealed a mild strain in the left hamstring, which means the Cuban native has now had hamstring issues in both legs this season. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the club was hopeful Puig would avoid a stint on the disabled and on Friday, Mattingly provided a positive update on his dynamic outfielder, via J.P. Hoornstra of the LA Daily News:
I think (medical director Stan Conte) wanted to be a little cautious for another day,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We’ll just see where he is again but it sounded like it went good today. He might be available in some capacity tonight. “I expect him to definitely be able to play in the series,” Mattingly said of Puig. “Just from Stan’s tone. He came out and ran hard. It sounds like it went pretty well.”
Puig wasn’t summoned off the bench as a pinch-hitter and/or defensive replacement in Friday’s loss. Chase Utley made his Dodgers debut, batting second as the designated hitter. With left-hander Scott Kazmir slated to start Saturday’s game, Puig conceivably could make his return as the DH.
The Dodgers conclude their three-game series with the Astros on Sunday, then have Monday off before moving on to Cincinnati for the final three games on their road trip. Puig this season is batting .250/.320/.434 with 10 home runs, 35 RBIs and 110 wRC+ in 72 games. He said recently he’s no longer concerned with what his critics have to say and is confident he’ll close the season out on a high note.