Puig’s Arm And Bat Leads Dodgers Over Australia, Gonzo Injures His Back
By Scott Andes
Dodgers 4 3 1
Australians 2 7 1
Good morning everyone. I’ll go ahead and fill you in on how the Dodgers did against Team Australia last night while you have your morning coffee. Perhaps you’re already sitting at your desk, or sitting in traffic during your morning commute. You see the Dodgers played Team Australia in the middle of the night. The game was played at 1 AM pacific time. Many Dodgers fans probably couldn’t watch, the game was only shown on MLB.tv. So how did the Dodgers do against the Aussies in Sydney Cricket ground?
This is what SCG looks like
Well, there is mostly good news, and some bad news. The good news is the Dodgers rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth to beat Team Australia by a score of 4-2. The bad news is Adrian Gonzalez suffered mild back tightness in the fourth and had to be removed from the game.
The resourceful Dodgers used only three hits to beat the Aussies, with right fielder Yasiel Puig giving the Australians a taste of what he brings to the Dodgers. Puig used his arms and his bat to carry the Dodgers to a win over the Aussies. it was Puig’s massive two-run home run in the eighth inning rally that tied the game at 2-2, and preceeded the go-ahead run to score. (The go-ahead run would score on a passed ball)
In the top of the fourth while at the plate, Gonzalez fouled off a pitch and subtly grabbed his back. After lining out he was taken out of the game in the bottom half of the frame. Scott Van Slyke was moved to first base, with Mike Baxter taking over in left. I don’t think it’s anything serious, but we’ll fill you in when we know more tomorrow.
In the meantime the Gonzo-less Dodgers carried on, and were down 2-0 to the Aussies early, despite starter Zach Lee turning in a fine performance. Lee used some kangaroo power to toss 4 strong innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with six whiffs and no walks. Lee looked sharp as he mowed down those Aussie bats. Lee’s peak came in the fourth when he whiffed the side (Mike Walker, Tim Kennelly, and Ryan Battaglia).
Lee’s only blemish on the night came in the bottom of the third when he hit Mike Denning with a pitch, and Brad Harman doubled him to third. Stefan Welch’s sacrifice fly sent Yasiel Puig to the wall, but it scored Denning, and Australia took a 1-0 lead.
Minor leaguer Red Patterson followed up Lee on the mound, and served up a run to the Aussies in the sixth. Harman walked, and a wild pitch allowed him to advance to second. After Welch grounded out, and Luke Hughes was struck out, Mike Walker’s infield single, and Justin Turner’s throwing error plated the second run for Australia.
The Dodgers would rally though thanks to the talent of Puig, who used his bat and his arm. Puig threw out a runner trying to score in the sixth, preventing the Australians of taking a 3-0 lead. Then in the eighth, his two-run home run tied it up.
In that frame, Mathew Williams walked A.J. Ellis, and after Fedex, and Turner whiffed, Puig launched a massive shot into the seats in left to tie the game 2-2. Up until that point the Dodgers had only one hit through the first seven frames.
Chone Figgins worked a walk. There was an error by Logan Wade, and then a passed ball by Battaglia got Figgins home, to put the Dodgers up by a score of 3-2. Joc Pederson walked, and after a pitching change from the Australians, Juan Uribe’s ground ball single to center scored the fourth Dodger’s run. The Dodgers take a 4-2 lead! Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow both combine to throw a scoreless eighth frame with Withrow recording two punch-outs.
Seth Rosin comes in to close out the game in the bottom of the ninth with the boys in blue still up 4-2. Rosin allowed a couple of singles, but whiffs Logan Wade to end the game. The Dodgers beat Australia by a final score of 4-2.
So that was it. The Dodgers got a win in a meaningless game, Puig snapped out of his little spring funk, and showcased his talent for all of Sydney to see. And of course we add another injury to the mix. I had some technical difficulties at casa de Andes, and unfortunately I missed Puig’s home run. But in case you did too, here it is below in all it’s glory.
Well that’s about it. Patterson gets credited with the win, and Mathew Williams is hit with the loss. Rosin gets the save, and Puig is the player of the game in my opinion.
We’re about 48 hours away from meaningful Dodger Baseball being played, and another new journey together will begin. I wouldn’t have it any other way my friends. Stick around.