Three Dodgers came up with two outs in the top of ninth inning in Miami against closer AJ Ramos. All three were down to their final strike. Pederson finished with a single to right field. Grandal worked a walk after a wild pitch on a 2-2 count allowed the tying run to move up to second base. Puig crushed a three-run home run to left center field on a 1-2 fastball on the outside half of the plate.
Most Dodger fans are used to the Puig of 2015 and 2016. Puig would struggle with almost any pitch on the outside half of the plate. Time and time again Yasiel would come up in key situations and fail to have even a productive at bat. You wouldn't know that after watching his final at bat tonight after being down 0-2 after a check swing on the ball in the dirt. When you look at his stats this year you will find a lot of similarities that you would in his past two struggling seasons (average, strikeouts and OBP). The only difference this year is Puig has put up those numbers batting in the 8th spot of the lineup. If you watched tonight's game against the Marlins you would also notice outside of the two home runs (#17 and #18) Puig hit the ball hard each time up to bat. Yasiel seems to have a little of his old spark back from the 2014 season and appears to be having a lot of fun while on the field. When I say having fun, confidence is also apart of that. Puig has had a lot more confidence in himself this year than what we have seen in the past few seasons and even though not all of his stats will show it, overall he is on track to be back to his old self from the not so distant past.
Outside of Puig providing the offense in tonight's game, the Dodgers played some stellar defense. Chris Taylor started it out in the bottom of the first inning. Making a spectacular over the shoulder catch on the warning track on a ball off the bat of Dee Gordon. In the bottom of the 4th, Justin Turner made a fantastic play on a ground ball that took an extremely bad hop and was still able to get the out at first.
The Dodgers have been averaging a total of 6 runs per game and that is the exact amount of runs they scored in tonight's game. With the Dodgers having now won 27 of their last 31 games, it appears they have started the second half right where they left off. Just as dramatic and magical as the first half of the season. Who knows who the star player in tomorrow's game will be, it's someone different every single night!