Dodgers Clinch NL West Crown, and by Dodgers I Mean Puig and Kershaw (GIFs)
The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants last night to clinch their second consecutive NL West division crown. The stars of the game? Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig. Big shocker.
That’s not to say the rest of the team didn’t contribute. Matt Kemp hit a double, Juan Uribe knocked in three and went 2-for-4, and Carl Crawford knocked in two and went 2-for-2 with a double. All season the Dodgers have been getting contributions up and down their lineup.
Still, Kershaw and Puig have been the catalysts, and that’s how it was last night, too.
First Kershaw wowed with his glove, turning in a dazzling behind-the-back play on a grounder by opposing pitcher Tim Hudson:
I guarantee that will win Kershaw the Gold Glove. That award is voted on by managers, and managers don’t take the time to actually consult fielding stats. Kershaw is already revered as the best pitcher in baseball, and that play will stick out in people’s minds when they think about who the best fielding pitcher is. It’s psychology.
But I digress. Kershaw also wowed the crowd with his curveball—as in he literally induced a chorus of “wows”:
In the end the soon-to-be 3x NL Cy Young winner went eight innings, gave up one run, walked none, and struck out 11, lowering his ERA to 1.77 and locking in his fourth straight ERA title. And that’s pretty normal for him, which is absolutely ridiculous.
But enough about Kershaw. What about Puig?
Well, Puig broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run. And of course he flipped his bat:
However, the home run ‘n’ bat flip wasn’t the only trademark Puig play. He also gunned down Gregor Blanco at third base, because apparently Blanco hasn’t seen all those highlight of Puig gunning people down:
And then Puig said, “yes, I did gun that guy down”:
Obviously, all of this made Dodgers fans very happy:
And Clayton Kershaw was pretty happy too:
He’s excited he’ll get the chance to redeem himself after Game 6 of last year’s NLCS.