Puig Needs to Heat Up

As everyone is well aware, last night’s game 5 was a roller coaster of a game.  Never would anyone have thought that a game started by Kershaw and Keuchel would end in the final score of 12-13.  The game lasted over 5 hours and it was the most entertaining 5 hours in sports.  You can read more about the specifics of the game on Fangraphs where they have plenty of great articles on that game.  For now I want to talk about Yasiel Puig.  The guy was a tough out in the first two series’ of the playoffs, but has now went cold in the most critical of times.  After hitting .455/.538/.727 against Arizona and .389/.500/.611 against Chicago, he is hitting only .143/.143/.429 in this world series.  He has 3 hits with 2 of them being home runs.  Yes, his home run last night to put the Dodgers within one run of Houston was huge, but it was in a way lucky since it wouldn’t have been a home run in many other ballparks.  He pretty much just flung his bat out and the ball was launched.  Here is where he hit that ball:

How that ball got out of right field is still amazing.  Overall, his at bats have been less than stellar.  He is not walking at all.  He walked 2 times in 13 PAs against Arizona, and he walked 4 times in 22 PAs against Chicago.  So far this series he has no walks.  Hes gone from swinging at 11% of pitches out of the zone in the DS and CS to 19% in the World Series.  This shouldn’t happen when Puig is seeing about the same percentage of balls as he was seeing in both the CS and DS.  It was mentioned by John Smoltz during the game yesterday that Puig is “competitively taking first pitches”, meaning he has no intention of swinging on the pitch or even understanding where it is.  Puig is continuing to see pitchers attack him inside as they have all season long.  He is being attacked with mostly fastball even against a heavy curveball throwing team in the Astros.  Like I mentioned above, Puig’s home run, though lucky, was clutch.  That being said he also came up with a man in scoring position three times during the game and failed to get him in.  As in the photo above, Puig is trying to pull everything.  He needs to take a page out of Bellinger’s book and start driving the ball the other way to break out of this funk.  The Dodgers need Puig in a big way these next 2 games if they want to win the World Series.  Puig needs to start having better at bats and spreading the ball around the field.

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