Aug 6, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (3) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off of Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Brandon League (43) during the eighth inning. The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Hump Day Heroes and Villains: Yasiel Puig and Anyone But Brandon League

It can be tough to get over the hump. The Los Angeles Angels were stuck on that metaphorical mid-week hump last Wednesday. They were stuck the week before too–every week since the season started, really. And their hole got deeper this week with the news that Albert Pujols is out for the remainder of the season with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. Mike Trout hasn’t played in the Angels last two outings. Their season is over.

Villain

But finding himself in Carlos Marmol in Chicago territory, and antagonizing a city of Dodger Blue supporters for serving up more finely plated dishes than Wolfgang Puck is Brandon League. Even though he wishes this was just a hump, each week generally gets worse. He lost leads on Sunday and Tuesday. He is not completely to blame for Sunday. Hanley Ramirez blew the game with two errors in the 9th. But in League’s last two outings:

That’s not exactly a winning blueprint.

The Dodgers have blown 17 of their 54 save opportunities this season. That is in the Top 10 most Blown Saves in the league. Texas has only blown 7, the fewest in the league. Brandon League has blown 5 on his own–that’s before he was relieved of closer duties. Ronald Belisario is responsible for 4 of his own. Only 7 other pitchers in the Majors who have pitched more than 40 innings without a start have allowed more Earned Runs than League’s 26. League has one successful Hold all season.

But this is why the Dodgers acquired The Beard. He is a Wild Card, but we know the hand Brandon League is dealing and we can pass on that. The action is to you, Brian Wilson.

Hero

But who’s feeling happier than a camel on Hump Day? It’s the guy who showed up late to Marlins Park for whatever reason, was disciplined for it (or his .185 batting average over the previous 7 days) and still won Tuesday’s game against the Marlins with a pinch hit home run in the 8th. Hump Day Hero Yasiel Puig may have missed the disciplinary message as Bill Plaschke warned in the LA Times this morning, but Puig’s message to Don Mattingly was loud and clear–“I am a difference maker.”

And in case you needed any help getting over the hump

Tags: Brandon League Los Angeles Angels Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig

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