As far as the Los Angeles Dodgers are concerned, outfielder Yasiel Puig is likely the biggest reason for the team’s turnaround and subsequent domination during the regular season.
As Puig goes, so too do the Dodgers, which partly explains the team’s early struggles in the NLCS.
Already down 2-0 in the series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Puig struck out in his first at-bat in Monday’s third game, putting him at 0-11 with seven strikeouts to start the series.
He was riding a streak of five consecutive strikeouts when he stepped to the plate in the fourth inning and the Dodgers leading 1-0 on an Adrian Gonzalez’s double earlier in the inning.
Rather than strike out, Puig drilled a triple to right field (complete with a premature home run celebration at home plate), scoring Gonzalez and putting the Dodgers up 2-0.
Puig finished the game 2-3 with an RBI and gave the team a critical boost against the Cardinals’ ace, Adam Wainwright.
The team was also boosted by Puig’s usual fist-pumping, jumping-up-and-down exuberance on the base paths (which should be celebrated, not vilified), making it even more vital that he continues to produce, as the Dodgers are still down 2-1 and not out of the woods yet.
But if Monday is any indication, Los Angeles is on the right track for a comeback.