LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers offense had their troubles on Saturday night in a 2-1 loss to the Giants, but much of the focus after the game was on Yasiel Puig, who was thrown out trying to steal second for the final out of the game.
After a one-out single by pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson against San Francisco closer Sam Dyson in the ninth inning, Puig grounded into a force play. With pinch-hitter Chase Utley at the plate, Puig took off for second base.
Puig was thrown out by catcher Buster Posey, a play at second base exacerbated by Puig not sliding.
“He went on his own, and decided not to slide. You can’t get thrown out. It can’t happen,” said a perturbed Dave Roberts. “It was a bad baseball play. I can’t explain it.”
Puig said he thought Dyson looked slow to the plate, and was trying to score the tying run, which if he was safe would have given Utley just the Dodgers’ fifth at-bat with a runner in scoring position all night.
By not sliding, Puig arrived awkwardly at second base, and had a slight limp walking off the field.
“The moment I was going to slide, it felt like I twisted my ankle,” said Puig, who was evaluated by team trainers after the game. “It bothers me a little, but I’m okay.”
“Plays like that, when you’re trying to win a championship, can’t happen,” Roberts said.
Brandon McCarthy allowed a run in three innings in his first time on a major league mound since July 20. It was just his third relief appearance in the last 11 seasons, but that wasn’t all that’s new. His windup has a hitch — not quite as pronounced as Hideo Nomo’s, but noticeable — that was added at the suggestion of pitching coach Rick Honeycutt during a bullpen session a few weeks back, something to help with pace and direction.
“It’s a very pronounced pause in the back. It’s almost like settling there before going forward again. It takes some of the rushing out of the delivery,” McCarthy explained. “It looks weird and it feels like it takes forever, but it definitely feels comfortable.”
Clayton Kershaw is on the mound as the Dodgers go for the series win on Sunday afternoon, a 1:10 p.m. PT start, facing right-hander Chris Stratton for the Giants.