Dude. I’ve done my damndest to defend you, but at some point you gotta help me help you:
Kemp was supposed to sit this one out, but Mattingly has benched Puig. Which — my past defenses of him notwithstanding — is exactly what he should do in this situation. Do the crime, such as it is, do the time.
My beef has never been with Mattingly or the Dodgers handling Puig the way he should be handled. It’s been about overreaction of the media with respect to his behavior and the implication that he’s not manageable via the same means via which any other ballplayer is subject.
This is a clear violation of Puig’s responsibilities. Mattingly has made him pay for it. Now let’s see if that’s good enough for everyone. I feel like it won’t be.
UPDATE: Nope, it isn’t. Read this for the most ridiculously over-heated response to this.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.