Dodgers: The Unsung NLCS MVP for Los Angeles
By Brook Smith
The Dodgers brought home their first National League Pennant in 29 years on Thursday night, defeating the Chicago Cubs 11 to 1. Chris Taylor and Justin Turner took home co-MVP honors.
What a thrill. For the first time in 29 long years, the Dodgers will be playing in the World Series. And finally, after years of regrets, defeats and disappointments, the city of Los Angeles can breathe deeply knowing they made it.
And while the war has yet to be won, this has to feel huge for a team that has continuously underperformed in the postseason. The Dodgers took down the defending World Champion Cubs and now await their opponent.
Justin Turner and Chris Taylor took home co-MVP honors for the series, and rightfully so. How could you not give it to the guy who walked off Game 2 or the guy who came from nowhere and hustled his team all the way to the fall classic?
Turner and Taylor hit .353 and .316 respectively, combining for four home runs and ten runs batted in. More than that though, they both took my advice and combined for ten walks throughout the series.
And of course they deserve those honors; I am not trying to downplay their efforts in any way. But there was one guy who may have been slightly overlooked. There was one man who performed beyond expectation and showed tremendous plate discipline.
One man who played superb defense and kept the whole dugout entertained. That man is the tongue-wagging, bat-flipping, crowd-roaring, Yasiel Puig.
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Puig spent the first two games near the bottom of the lineup, not moving up until Game 3. And Puig thrived all over the lineup this series, going 7-18 good for a .388 batting average. Puig also walked four times in the series, which is vital for a guy who is just looking to produce runs. Oh yeah, and he also homered again.
Turner and Taylor both deserved it, but if there were ever going to be a three-way tie for MVP honors, this would be it. It’s tough making a call on the most valuable player to a team’s performance when they’re great from the top of the lineup all the way down.
But that’s just how this team has played all year long. Passing the proverbial baton from one hitter to the next, keeping the hits coming and pouring on run support all year long.