Dodgers News: Cody Bellinger Believes Beating Nationals ‘Means Something’
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

An 11-game losing streak and dropping 16 of 17 meant there was more at stake between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals during their weekend series. No matter the outcome, the Dodgers were guaranteed to still hold the best record in the National League.

But getting swept or losing two of three would have put more pressure on Los Angeles. Instead, they took the series opener in convincing fashion, securing a 15th shutout this season. They hung on for a win the following afternoon but dropped the series opener.

The weekend set was billed as potential preview to the 2017 NL Championship Series. It was also a rematch of the 2016 NL Division Series, which the Dodgers won in five games.

Considering the teams may meet again in the postseason, Cody Bellinger believed the Dodgers’ two wins carried some significance, via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:

“They’re a great team with a great lineup,” Bellinger said. “To come out and win these two games, I think that means something.”

While they failed to sweep the series, the Dodgers extended their lead over the Nationals to six games. The best record in the league is not a lock, but the Nationals would be hard-pressed to make up that ground with only 13 games remaining.

With the late-season matchup possibly serving as preview to a forthcoming playoff series, both teams took part in a bit of gamesmanship. The Dodgers aligned their starting rotation so that Clayton Kershaw and Yu Darvish would not pitch in any of the three games.

In turn, the Nationals didn’t send Gio Gonzalez or Max Scherzer to the mound during the series. With due respect to Rich Hill and All-Star Alex Wood, it was Stephen Strasburg who held the honor of being the marquee pitcher to start during the weekend.

Bellinger went 3-for-10 with one double, one home run and two RBI in the series. The homer was Bellinger’s 38th this season, which tied the NL rookie record.