Los Angeles Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig has long been known for his displays of emotion when he does well, including spectacular bat flips that annoy crusty old media members. In the eighth inning of Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday night, though, Puig got noticed for an outpouring of emotion over a missed play, as he dove and missed a fly ball from Houston Astros’ third baseman Alex Bregman, knocking it into the stands for a ground-rule double, then arose and slammed his glove to the ground hard. Here’s the live play and the initial replay:
As Fox analyst John Smoltz notes in that clip, this was a tough play for Puig, who got a good jump on the ball and went a long way for it, but couldn’t quite make the play. Smoltz said “This is an unbelievable effort by Puig…this is great acceleration, a great dive, and you can see, just off the end of his glove.” The play was credited as a hit by the official scorer rather than an error, too. Here’s a later replay and a look at Puig with his head in his hands afterwards:
Puig didn’t really do anything wrong here. Yes, it’s obviously better if he makes the catch, but diving for the ball rather than letting it drop and throwing it in made a lot of sense given the position he was able to get to. He had an excellent chance at an out here, but just couldn’t quite pull it off. And even if you do think he made a mistake here, a mistake doesn’t erase the positive contributions of a guy who hit .455/.538/.727 in the NLDS and .389/.500/.611 in the NLCS. But it was interesting to see how intense Puig was here. And this could wind up being a very significant play; Bregman later scored on a Carlos Correa single to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 3-2, and a Marwin Gonzalez solo home run in the top of the ninth tied the game. So Puig slamming his glove may be remembered for a while if the Astros can complete the comeback.