SYDNEY, Australia — The
When they departed Australia on Sunday,
While Ryu's problem could force the Dodgers to make short-term changes to the rotation — Ryu said it wouldn't — Puig's pointed to a larger issue, in particular because Manager
Puig had to be removed in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 7-5 victory over the
Mattingly continued, "Shoulder yesterday, back today, so I'm not sure if we're going to get him tests or get him to the MRI on Monday or Tuesday or bone scan Tuesday. I'm not quite sure what we'll do."
If Mattingly was exasperated, it's probably because this was nothing new. Dating to last season, it's been suspected the attention-seeking Puig overdramatizes minor discomforts.
Coincidentally, Mattingly touched on the subject before the game. When Mattingly talked about it then, he did so with a sense of amusement.
"He seems to grab something every time he takes a swing and misses," Mattingly said with a laugh. "At this point, it's like the little boy that cried wolf. At some point, you don't really ever think he's hurt. So one of these days he's going to be hurt and we won't know."
Puig was unavailable for comment.
Whatever the reality, the Dodgers have a problem. If Mattingly's implied suspicions are correct, Puig isn't nearly as tough as the manager would like him to be. The alternative is even worse: Puig is injured.
For Mattingly, there were other annoyances.
His team was leading, 7-0, through seven innings, only to let the Diamondbacks back into the game.
Puig ran into a couple of outs. Second baseman
"We don't play like this and win," Mattingly said. "We may win or get to the playoffs or whatever, but you don't win like this. It's a frustrating game."
The Dodgers will look to attempt to remedy these issues before they start the domestic portion of their season in San Diego on March 30. They'll have to do this as they reacclimate their bodies to a time zone that is 18 hours behind where they spent the previous week.
The Dodgers landed in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon but won't resume working out until Tuesday. They will play an intrasquad game Wednesday and face the
Mattingly is concerned of how the Dodgers will have to play exhibition games after already having started their regular season. He fears his players will let down, which could result in bad habits.
Mattingly was a coach with the
Nonetheless, Mattingly said the trip to Australia was worth taking.
"It's something you don't really forget," he said.
Also, there were some positive developments in Australia, starting with Puig's turnaround at the plate. Puig, who hit .122 in
Gordon started the second game at second base and was three for four with a double and two runs scored.
The starting pitchers did what was expected of them, with