In the bottom of the 11th inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers were tied with the visiting Cincinnati Reds, 0-0. The afternoon was growing weary. The fans were melting in the hot Southern California sun. Hope was almost lost, as pitch by pitch, the game continued, testing the patience of the most devoted of Dodger fans.
This stretch of futility came to a screeching halt as a large man wearing the number 66 in white and blue stepped into the batters’ box and blasted the small ball of leather and twine into the Left Field Pavilion. The Pavilion that isn’t the all-you-can-eat one. Really, when there’s an option of a buffet-like seating section, who would sit in the other one?
Yasiel Puig was that man. The shining, shimmering, glisteningly handsome Cuban man who has come to resurrect this team of destiny and plunge his name into Dodger lore as “the man who ended the marathon game.” The Dodgers, after starting the season in such an injury-riddled lull, have won nine of their last 10 games and hold a 2.5 game lead in the NL West. They are 26-6 in their last 31 games and have the best record in baseball since Puig arrived, June 3. They’re ultra-hot in July, which means very little, but if they can stay happy and healthy, the Dodgers won’t be a fun team to play in October.
Viva Puig. Viva Los Doyers.