Puig's baserunning becoming an issue

July, 28, 2013
7/28/13
12:54
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- Thus far, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been hesitant to crack down too much on what has, at times, been reckless base running by Yasiel Puig. After all, it was his exuberance and energy that first shook the team out of its June doldrums.

But they are monitoring the situation as the season moves along, cognizant that one poorly timed blunder can cost a team a crucial game. Saturday night, Puig made two poor decisions, though only one of them had negative consequences.

He took a wide turn around first base in the fifth inning and the Cincinnati Reds clearly had the right scouting report. Catcher Devin Mesoraco was aggressively trailing the play and was there when Jay Bruce threw behind Puig for an easy out.

In the first inning, Puig stole third base with two outs. He made it, but it's not considered a smart play because of the steep risk-reward equation. According to a scout sitting near the field, Dodgers cleanup hitter Hanley Ramirez was "visibly upset." Ramirez doubled to drive Puig in, but he would have scored just as easily from second.

"We're trying to corral it a little bit, but without putting too many restrictions on him," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "As you get into big games, any game can be the game it costs you, so we just want him to understand situations."

Here are lineups for Sunday's game:

Cincinnati
1. Derrick Robinson CF
2. Chris Heisey LF
3. Joey Votto 1B
4. Brandon Phillips 2B
5. Jay Bruce RF
6. Todd Frazier 3B
7. Zack Cozart SS
8. Devin Mesoraco C
9. Tony Cingrani LHP

Dodgers
1. Mark Ellis 2B
2. Yasiel Puig RF
3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Hanley Ramirez SS
5. Jerry Hairston Jr. LF
6. Andre Ethier CF
7. Juan Uribe 3B
8. Tim Federowicz C
9. Chris Capuano LHP

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.308 12 52 53
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 15
RBIA. Gonzalez 65
RD. Gordon 54
OPSY. Puig .915
WZ. Greinke 11
ERAC. Kershaw 1.92
SOC. Kershaw 134