Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig strikes out against the Padres in the… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
OK, everybody off the bandwagon. Cancel that MVP campaign. Delay those hall ballots.
Much to the surprise of absolutely everyone in the baseball world, Yasiel Puig will not fly to the rescue every night. He will not pull a dramatic moment out of nowhere. He will not -- and this is actually true -- get a hit every game.
Ah, man. He’s like human and everything.
He had some wondering after his first two electric games, going 5 for 8 with two home runs and five RBIs.
Even Manager Don Mattingly, in a light moment before Wednesday's game, wasn’t ready to put limitations on Puig when it was mentioned it might just be a tad difficult for him to maintain his .625 batting average.
“Maybe. I haven’t seen anything this guy can’t do so far,” Mattingly said. “He did it all spring, and I didn’t think he would. He just keeps going, so I’m not going to doubt anything at this point.”
And then came Wednesday, when Puig had no special magic, no contagious energy, no stunning laser throw from the outfield wall to double up a runner at first to end the game.
What he did have was an 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. Which just plummeted his batting average to a measly .417.
“It’s hard to do it every day,” Puig said. “There aren’t many people who can really do it every day.”
Yeah, like absolutely zero in the history of the game. Puig appeared nonplused by this crashing and burning to Earth like some regular major league Joe. Some shrugs, some undeniable looks of, “Why are you media types even talking to me after I went hitless in four at-bats?”
My eyes tried to answer with, “Because you’re an unbelievable overnight story,” but not sure if it translated in Spanish.
Mattingly, too, took the normality of Puig’s night in seeming stride. Almost like he was actually in touch with reality.
“He’s going to be fine,” Mattingly said. “He’s going to make outs. He’s going to have oh-fers. It’s the big leagues.”
Which, it turns out, consists entirely of mortals.
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