Monday, October 06, 2014

Mind Games

Through two games, the Cardinals have been pretty effective at getting into Yasiel Puig's head, to distract him:

ST. LOUIS -- Asked how an opponent should best deal with Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, one scout said, "Get into his head."

The Cardinals seem to have the same game plan in the best-of-five National League Division Series that resumes Monday with the teams tied at one win apiece.

The Dodgers' must-see outfielder already has had two dustups with the Cardinals involving catcher Yadier Molina. That has been followed by strikeouts in Puig's last five at-bats.

It's easy to connect the dots with Puig, who plays with unbridled emotion and flair to the delight of fans. But opponents get irritated with his antics and the Cardinals seem intent on irritating Puig right back. Irritated players can lose their cool and make big mistakes. The Dodgers can see where this is going. [...]

"A day off like today is the time we all talk to Yasiel, tell him to take a step back, think about what has happened, that they're doing this to get to you," Mattingly said.

"This is where you want to simplify it," he added. "Just play baseball, get a good pitch to hit, hit it hard. When we talk about preparation, we are asking to be prepared for the big moment, to program it in your mind. The mind is a computer and you program it. You're ready to handle the noise here [at Busch Stadium], you're ready for the big moment, to hit the right pitch, throw to the right base, play the scoreboard, all because you've prepared mentally.

"Last year's [playoff experience] should help him, the All-Star Game, too. Those are emotional times, but it's still baseball. Bring it back to the simple things."

My guess is that the St. Louis fans are going to razz Puig early and often. And I have this feeling that Puig rises to the occasion, starting tonight. No more mind games, and no more headcase. Let's do this.


QuadSevens said...

I really hope Puig can focus and forget about the past. I'm definitely forgeting about the three games he played in STL during last year's NLCS where he went 0 for 13 with 8 Ks.

Orel said...

Seems to me that guys like him have a pretty short memory, which should help

spank said...

Cardinals are going to hit one of the first three Dodgers that come up to bat today. That's a fact.

Fred's Brim said...

Spank is going to be running nekkid through the streets swinging his Mahi Mahi. That's a fact.

Fred's Brim said...

I think it's a combo of being rattled and being injured