Somebody was bound to slow down the runaway train that is Yasiel Puig. Someone experienced, who has seen it all, and has all of the tricks. Someone 21 years his senior. Try 43-year-old Mariano Rivera. Puig did, and he lost.
In their first career meeting Wednesday, Rivera aced the 22-year-old Puig with a 2-2 pitch over the outside corner for strike three, securing the New York Yankees 6-4 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Yankee Stadium. The moment spoiled Don Mattingly's return to Yankee Stadium, but it's OK for Donnie Baseball; the Dodgers won the second game of the doubleheader, 6-0, with Puig adding his fifth home run, a solo shot in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Puig also had an entertaining day on the bases and in the field. One baserunning gamble worked, the other didn't. He also tried to throw out Thomas Neal at first base from right field. Puig treads a line that separates fearless from foolhardy, and all of it is worth watching.
But the grand moment of the day came in the ninth inning of Game 1. Mariano strikes out Puig — or, en español: Mariano poncha a Puig. It was save No. 25 for Rivera and a rare out for Puig, who is batting .474, has a .500 on-base percentage and a .789 slugging percentage through this first 57 at-bats. That's, like, Curtis Goodwin and Bo Hart territory!
What does Puig learn from the moment with Mariano? Other than how to take a seat? Maybe by the time he's 43, he'll be the one getting the call on the outside corner.
In case the final out in Spanish was too disorienting, here's the same play en inglés:
Hey, Michael Kay is just as disorienting!
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- Sports & Recreation
- Mariano Rivera
- Yasiel Puig