The New York Mets held a 7-1 lead when the bottom of the sixth inning and had every reason to believe they’d cruise to an easy win. The Los Angeles Dodgers had yet to do much offensively against Bartolo Colon, who very well could have been in the midst of his final start for the Mets this season.
Dee Gordon led off the sixth with a single and Yasiel Puig worked a walk to put two runners on with none out. Adrian Gonzalez collected his third hit of the game — an RBI single — and the Dodgers were beginning to generate some momentum.
Then Matt Kemp hit a grounder to third that resulted in a 5-4-3-2 triple play. In a poor decision, Puig attempted to score from second and was easily thrown out at home. Puig’s ill-advised decision did not sit particularly well with manager Don Mattingly, via Michael Lananna of MLB.com:
It’s just the wrong play. It’s what we talked to him about. We always go back to, on those types of plays, you play the scoreboard,” Mattingly said. “The disappointing thing is I think that’s the second time almost that same exact play happened, and you would hope that, you know, you want guys to learn from their mistakes, and get better.”
The previous attempt Mattingly spoke of occurred in a home game against the Cubs where the ball beat Puig home, though he managed to avoid the tag and was ruled safe. However, it came at a cost as Puig was subsequently removed from the game due to hamstring soreness.
Baserunning has been an issue again this season for Puig, who’s been picked-off first base on multiple occasions and as a result, worked with Davey Lopes on getting back to the bag. Puig’s reckless decision may also be tied to his ongoing slump.
The center fielder has failed to collect a hit in the last three games and prior to that, Puig was just 2-for-11 in the three-game series against the San Diego Padres. Compounding matters has been Puig’s lack of patience at the plate.
In his first two at-bats Sunday, Puig saw a grand total of two pitches that each resulted in a groundout to shortstop. Sensing Puig may have been in need of a day off, Mattingly didn’t play the 23 year old Saturday and Puig will now have Monday to again attempt to regather himself.
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