There is not much more to say that hasn’t already been said about Game-1 of the NLDS for the Dodgers – it couldn’t have been scripted any better. There is, however, something that occurred during the game that may very well prove to be the defining moment of the series, and of course it involved Yasiel Puig.
As you might expect, the Braves had advanced scouts following the Dodgers very closely over the course of the season and especially during the final three or four weeks of the season. These scouts were undoubtedly well aware that Yasiel Puig is very fast, but I honestly believe that they failed to realize just how fast he really is.
No one will argue that when Puig went from first to third on Juan Uribe’s routine single up the middle in the second inning it was a very risky move in what was at the time a scoreless game. It was one of those things that could have easily backfired – but it didn’t. Puig caught Braves center fielder Jason Heyward sleeping so badly that Heyward didn’t even bother to throw to third base and threw to second base instead so that Uribe would not advance.
”I’m thinking I’ve got to get to third base and (Heyward) did his job,” said Puig. “He didn’t want to risk making an error”
Puig immediately scored on Skip Schumaker’s sacrifice fly when Heyward made yet another mental error by throwing to the plate with absolutely no chance of getting Puig and missed his cutoff man in the process, thus allowing Uribe to take second base on the throw. Uribe scored one batter later when A.J. Ellis laced a double into the right field gap, the first of two doubles on the night for the Dodger catcher. Even though the Dodgers would go on to score four more runs, those two runs in the second inning would be all that Kershaw would need for the eventual 6-1 win.
You can bet that the Braves know how fast Puig is now. You can also bet the Puig is now very much in the head of every Braves player and pitcher and that they will be spending a great deal of time thinking about him both offensively and defensively.
Brace yourselves – as Vin Scully would say “The Wild Horse is loose.”