Puig's epic throw not the entire Story

Dodgers right fielder's assist leaves manager, teammates in awe

April 23rd, 2016

DENVER -- It's not often that ballplayers and managers outdo sportswriters for superlatives, but it's not often that a Yasiel Puig comes along.

Puig, who has never shied away from showing off his throwing arm, outdid himself in the fifth inning of the Dodgers' 7-5 loss at Coors Field on Friday night, with a throw that was incredible even for him -- a 310-foot laser that traveled 93.5 mph, according to Statcast™.

"If I can't do it with my bat and I can't do it with my glove, I'll do it with my arm," said Puig. "I have to do something to help my team. I just try to throw to the base and my teammates do the rest."

Trevor Story's long one-out fly ball eluded Puig's leaping attempt at the 375-foot sign in right field and caromed off the fence. Puig chased the ricochet as it rolled past him, grabbed the ball and unleashed a John Elway-type bomb that third baseman Justin Turner short-hopped while tagging Story as he slid into the bag.

"As far as degree of difficulty, it might be one of the best plays I've ever seen," said manager Dave Roberts. "People made amazing plays throughout history. From trying to make play off the wall to recover a ball running away to picking it up and throw a strike from however far. I can't think of a player that can make that play.

"I just put my fan cap on and just appreciate it. I'm really starting to get it with Yasiel. Every time he gets on the baseball field, something special can happen. That's at the top of the list."

Plate umpire Paul Emmel, trailing the play, made the out call at third base and the Rockies did not appeal.

"I didn't think he had a shot because Story runs really well," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "He's [a] well above-average runner. It reminded me of that Bo Jackson throw I saw years ago when he threw out Harold Reynolds in the Kingdome. It was very similar to that. I thought he was too far away to get the ball to third before Story got there, but he's a gifted player. That was impressive." 

Puig's play brought back memories of a similar throw at Coors Field, when Jose Guillen gunned down Neifi Perez -- who was trying to stretch a double into a triple -- from deep in right field on July 27, 1998.

Puig said it was the best throw he had ever made. Keeping the Rockies off the board preserved the Dodgers' 5-4 lead.

"Right on the money," said Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir. "Unbelievable."

Story's hit would have been a home run in previous seasons, but the Rockies have doubled the height of the outfield fence in front of the bullpens.