After dropping the first two games of the NLCS, the Dodgers have grabbed an early lead against the Cardinals in Game 3 behind an RBI double from Adrian Gonzalez and a run-scoring triple from Yasiel Puig.
The fourth-inning rally against Adam Wainwright started after Mark Ellis hit a ball to right-center field which dropped in following a miscommunication between Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran. Ellis ended up at second base on the play and was brought home on the Gonzalez hit. Puig then drove in Gonzalez with a triple which bounced off the right field wall.
It’s worth noting that Puig flipped the bat in epic fashion and raised both of his arms after his swing, as he thought he hit a two-run home run, but he eventually kicked it into gear and motored into third base standing. Always interesting, this guy. The 22-year-old was 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts in the series before the triple. Meanwhile, the rally against Wainwright ended a 22-inning scoreless streak for the Dodgers dating back to the top of the third inning in Game 1.
Check out the video of Puig’s triple below:
Hyun-Jin Ryu struggled in his start against the Braves during the NLDS, but he has been very impressive so far. The southpaw has yet to allow a hit and has retired 11 in a row since a first-inning walk to Carlos Beltran.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.