Grandal walk sets stage for Yasiel Puig

There is absolutely no disputing that Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig was the hero in Friday night’s exciting and extremely intense 6-4 Dodgers win over the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. After all, it was his 412-foot three-run blast with two outs in the top of the ninth inning with the Dodgers down to their final strike and his team training 4-3 that yanked victory from the jaws of defeat.

But Puig wasn’t the only Dodger to be down to his final strike with two outs in the top of the ninth. That brutally uncomfortable honor was also shared with the two men who preceded Puig to the plate, as well.

The inning began when Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger grounded out harmlessly to his counterpart and fellow Home Run Derby participant, Marlins first baseman Justin Bour, off of Marlins right-handed closer AJ RamosThis was followed by five-pitch strikeout of Dodgers second baseman Logan Forsythe, who never swung at a pitch.

With the Dodgers now down to their final out and final strike, Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson lined Ramos’ 2-2 / 81.5-MPH slider into right field for a base hit to keep the inning and the Dodgers hopes alive, and bringing Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal to the plate.

With Pederson representing the tying run, Marlins manager Don Mattingly elected to hold him at first base as opposed to giving the speedy Pederson second base on defensive indifference. This became a moot point when Ramos promptly uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Pederson to take second base without a throw. And even though first base was now open, the very last thing that Mattingly (and Ramos) wanted to do was intentionally walk Grandal with Puig, who had crushed a monster 449-foot home run earlier in the game – standing in the on-deck circle.

But Yasmani Grandal had other ideas.

Instead of trying to force the at-bat by chasing a bad pitch, the Dodgers catcher worked an incredible seven-pitch walk off of Ramos, thus becoming the potential go-ahead run and bringing Puig to the plate.

Grandal showed tremendous plate discipline when he worked a seven-pitch, two out, two strike walk off of Marlins closer AJ Ramos in the top of the ninth inning of Friday night’s game.
(Video capture courtesy of SportsNet LA)

Things would get worse for Ramos before they got disastrous.

On a 1-1 count, Puig tried to check his swing on a pitch that got away from Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Although it too was ruled a wild pitch and allowed both Pederson and pinch-runner Trayce Thompson to advance to put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, it also put Puig in a 1-2 hole and again the Dodgers were down to their final strike. But this hole was a shallow one as Puig launched Ramos’ next pitch – a 94-MPH fastball – deep into center field and into that … whatever that thing in center field is for a three-run home run to give the Dodgers a 6-4 lead and eventual win.

Even before it landed in that thing in center field at Marlins Park, Puig knew he got all of this one.
(Video capture courtesy of SportsNet LA)

Yes, Puig was the hero on this night, but it never would have happened without Grandal’s outstanding seven-pitch walk to set the table for the Dodger slugger.

Well done, Yaz.


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5 Responses to “Grandal walk sets stage for Yasiel Puig”

  1. Respect the Rivalry says:

    “When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”
    As a child I always thought the Dodgers would overcome any deficit (though I likely didn’t know what “deficit” meant). I just couldn’t understand when they didn’t. As I grew up I did away with such childish things. But now I’m finding myself thinking that way again.
    On my 67th B’day Joc, Yaz, Puiggy, and Kenley reminded me that it’s not so childish this time.

  2. oldbrooklynfan says:

    It’s amazing how the Dodgers are winning lately. Especially when I thought the streak had definitely ended for sure. All we can do is take one game at a time. 8 1/2 games ahead looks pretty good right now.

  3. Evan Bladh says:

    Great ABs by all three, with their backs against the wall and down to the last strike. All the while with the Marlins faithful on their feet anticipating the punch out to win the game.

    Puig hit that thing and I just said to myself, “this is a team of destiny.” Night after night, it just continues. There comes a point in time where you realize it isn’t luck anymore. These guys are clutch.

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      Just saw this on Twitter:

      Yasiel Puig: First Dodger whose 2nd HR of game was a go-ahead with team down to last out since Raul Mondesi 6/30/96.

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