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Monday, October 14, 2013
Getting Puig's emotions in check could prove key

By Mark Saxon

LOS ANGELES – With Hanley Ramirez dealing with the pain of a cracked rib in his left side and the Dodgers down two games to the St. Louis Cardinals in their National League Championship Series, this might be a good time for Yasiel Puig to snap out of one of the worst funks in his short career.

He and Ramirez were the twin pistons of the Dodgers’ turnaround in June.

Puig is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts in this series. The frustrating part for the Dodgers, at times, is that Puig sometimes has difficulty containing his emotions and they can bleed from one at-bat to the next or from an at-bat to the field.

He appeared to be trying to do too much while striking out at the key moment in Game 2, with the bases loaded and one out. Michael Wacha threw him a 95-mph fastball on the first pitch and Puig fell down swinging at it. He struck out, the Dodgers didn't score and lost 1-0.

Before Game 3, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly acknowledged Puig’s emotions can sometimes get the best of him.

“I think that’s always the case with Yasiel with any kind of mistakes or his at-bats and stuff,” Mattingly said. “It is emotional. But the one thing I think we all know with Yasiel is it’s always from trying too hard. It’s never from not trying.”