LOS ANGELES — Yasiel Puig could not determine which celebration match greatest, so he mainly used all of them. He rubbed his fingers and flexed his biceps, clapped his arms and raised them to the sky, crossed his arms on his chest and introduced them to his helmet, all whereas rounding third base and heading dwelling to have a good time the game-winning, pinch-hit, three-run homer that keyed one other Los Angeles Dodgers triumph.
Puig’s dwelling run — with two on and one out within the backside of the seventh — ignited a 5-2 win and a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, pushing the Dodgers to a season-best 2½ video games forward within the Nationwide League West with solely 9 remaining within the season.
“This sport, this collection, was emblematic of our ballclub,” Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts mentioned, “of how many individuals had their arms on this collection to assist win three video games.”
The Dodgers have gained seven of their previous eight, and Puig’s prowess on the plate has mirrored their dominance.
Puig was out of the beginning lineup these previous two nights as a result of his reverse splits made him a nasty matchup towards the Rockies’ left-handed starters. He then pinch-hit for Brian Dozier towards a right-handed reliever, Scott Oberg, and belted his sixth dwelling run in his previous 18 at-bats.
The latest homer took place 24 hours after his Encino, California, dwelling was burglarized on Tuesday evening, the fourth such reported occasion in a span of about 18 months.
“I did not sleep an excessive amount of yesterday,” Puig mentioned.
The 27-year-old outfielder halfheartedly mentioned that “every part’s OK,” however did not present a lot element concerning the scenario. Puig left Tuesday’s sport early to take care of the matter. He mentioned he considered making it again to Dodger Stadium earlier than Chris Taylor’s eventual 10th-inning walk-off homer, however there was an excessive amount of site visitors.
“My pilot’s not dwelling; he is on trip,” Puig joked. “I did not wish to drive again.”
“Clearly there’s been some issues with him, however with athletes, a whole lot of instances, once they get right here, that is their type of protected zone, the place they’ll type of get away, escape actuality,” Roberts mentioned. “There’s been so many guys for me in my three years which have actually grown. And Yasiel is true on the high of the listing. He was on the bench the whole sport, watching the sport, watching the pitcher, getting down there, taking swings, preparing for a sure spot, and he was ready.”
Puig entered with an OPS towards righties that was 286 factors larger than his OPS towards lefties for the reason that begin of 2017. However Rockies supervisor Bud Black elected to maintain Oberg within the sport to pitch to Puig, despite the fact that first base was open and lefty Chris Rusin was warming up within the bullpen.
Oberg threw a second straight slider barely low and away, and Puig despatched it 420 ft away to left-center area for his second profession pinch-hit dwelling run.
“I did not attempt to hit a house run,” Puig mentioned. “I attempted to hit the ball within the air, do one thing to not hit a floor ball.”
Puig took it simple earlier than Wednesday’s sport. He took some swings within the batting cage and watched a bit little bit of video, however he wasn’t on the sphere along with his teammates throughout customary pregame batting observe. It did not matter, as a result of Puig, a .400 hitter this month, is on one other stage proper now.
He was requested if he had ever skilled a stretch like this.
“In my home,” he mentioned, “taking part in video video games.”
The Dodgers won’t be going dwelling any time quickly.
Their lead is beginning to balloon, with FanGraphs giving them a 91.9 p.c likelihood to win the division. Their beginning rotation is as robust because it has been all yr, particularly with Walker Buehler, who allowed two unearned runs in six innings, trying like a official co-ace. The again finish of their bullpen is likely to be beginning to spherical into type round Kenley Jansen. And their lineup is constantly developing with well timed hits recently, none extra well timed than Puig’s.
“We will win the West,” Puig declared, “and go to the playoffs.”