Yasiel Puig
Getty Images

Video: Yasiel Puig swats three home runs, helps Dodgers break wild card tie

3 Comments

It’s been a wild week for the Dodgers, who are currently riding a four-game win streak after breaking their tie with the Cardinals for the second wild card spot on Saturday. In a stunning 17-4 win over St. Louis, Los Angeles slugger Yasiel Puig was the headliner, clubbing three home runs and collecting seven RBI to help the Dodgers clinch the series win.

After Manny Machado put up a two-run shot in the first inning, Puig drove his first home run of the day into the center field seats on a first-pitch fastball from Cardinals right-hander John Gant. He returned in the fifth with a three-run homer — his 20th of the season and the hardest-hit homer in Statcast-era team history — scoring both Yasmani Grandal and Cody Bellinger to give the Dodgers a four-run boost.

Following another two runs from Bellinger and Max Muncy in the sixth, Puig’s third and final dinger came in the eighth inning on a one-out, 0-2 changeup from right-hander Luke Weaver. This one was hammered into left field as the Dodgers took a 13-4 lead over the Cardinals, which was then garnished with another four runs thanks to Bellinger and Andrew Toles’ efforts in the ninth.

Puig left Saturday’s unbelievable win with a .272/.333/.504 batting line, 21 home runs and .837 OPS through 403 PA. In this series alone, he’s already delivered six hits (a single and five home runs) through 10 at-bats. Saturday’s performance marked the first three-homer game of his six-year career in the majors.

Even taking their crazy win streak into account, however, the Dodgers’ place in the postseason isn’t cemented quite yet. They’re currently tied with the Rockies at the top of the NL West standings and hold a tenuous one-game lead over the Cardinals for the second wild card berth.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.