Found July 28, 2013 on
Fox Sports West:
LOS ANGELES In a game where the Dodgers played for 10 and scoreless innings and set a new franchise record for strikeouts, there's only one player that could possibly come through with the game-winning theatrics: Yasiel Puig.
Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, with one out and the game tied up 0-0 in the bottom of the 11th, Puig came up to bat against the Reds' Curtis Partch. Partch threw him a changeup that he swung through and decided to throw him another.
Puig made contact so solid the Dodger Stadium crowd was on its feet before the ball reached the left field bleachers for the 1-0 win over Cincinnati.
"As soon as he hit it, I knew it was out," said Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly.
"My teammates said they were throwing me a lot of changeups," Puig said through interpreter Santiago Mazon. "I was just looking to hit anything and I got the changeup and hit it out."
Puig slid yes, slid into home and was promptly mobbed by his teammates as he celebrated the win and his first-ever walk-off home run.
"We probably called it every time but there was a number of us that said, Oh, he's going deep here,'" said starting pitcher Chris Capuano. "He came through."
A look at the box score and one might be shocked that the Dodgers (56-48) won. The 20 collective strikeouts were the most since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Their 17 through nine innings tied the record alone for games that didn't reach extra innings.
Every hitter in the lineup struck out with the exception of Jerry Hairston Jr. Four players struck out three times, Puig included.
"You put your at-bats behind you every single time and what's in the past is in the past each time you come back up," Puig said. "I did the best I could. I already had three strikeouts but I just kept coming back up."
Mattingly was surprised to hear the number was that high.
"We had 20? Really?" Mattingly said. "I don't know if guys realized. I didn't but maybe they did, I don't know. When you're kind of inning-to-inning trying to play a game you're not really paying attention to how we're getting our outs we just know we're getting them."
Brandon League (6-3) earned the win in relief his third straight but it was Capuano who had one of his finest outings of the season.
It hasn't been the smoothest ride for Capuano since coming off the disabled list in late June. Capuano has gone 2-2 with two no-decisions and was rocked by Philadelphia. But Capuano was masterful Sunday afternoon, going six and 23 innings, scattering just three hits and striking out four.
"Today I felt really good all game and I was really finishing the pitches," Capuano said.
Tony Cingrani, the Reds' rookie southpaw, was equally impressive, if not more. Cingrani struck out 11 in seven innings of work to tie his career-high and gave up just a single hit and walked one. The 20 strikeouts also tied a Reds (59-47) franchise record for opponent strikeouts in a game.
Both offenses were simply flummoxed.
"In a one-run game everything is going to, obviously, seem big," Mattingly said. "I knew it was going to be a 1-0 game I just didn't know which way it was going to go."
The streaking Dodgers haven't lost a series since dropping two of four to Pittsburgh June 14-16. They currently hold a 2.5-game lead over the Diamondbacks and the 26-6 mark since June 22 matches the best 32-game streak in franchise history.
It's all Puig could think about as he cracked that final game-winner.
"My team won and we got some further space from Arizona," he said.
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Quote of the Day
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