The Los Angeles Dodgers cemented their second consecutive series victory by defeating the Washington Nationals, 4-3, after overcoming a three-run deficit in the sixth inning.
Yasmani Grandal put the Dodgers on the board with a two-run double that ultimately ended Nationals starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson’s solid outing. Left-handed specialist Sammy Solis was called upon to face Cody Bellinger, but it was to no avail.
Bellinger went on to deliver a one-out, game-tying double of his own off the center field wall. Michael A. Taylor played the ball perfectly and nearly threw out the 22-year-old trying to advance to second base.
But a swift, switching-hands slide enabled Bellinger to reach safely. After the game, the 2017 National League Rookie of the Year revealed that he learned the sleight of hand by watching Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim center fielder Mike Trout pull off a similar move on television, per Pedro Moura of The Athletic:
Cody Bellinger said he learned that switching-hands slide from watching Mike Trout do it on television.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) April 23, 2018
An underrated aspect of Trout’s game is on the base paths, as he consistently grades out as one of the best baserunners in the league. Since his rookie season in 2012, the two-time American League MVP ranks second in FanGraphs’ BsR statistic, which measures how efficient players are on the base paths.
That Bellinger was able to learn a new slide just by simply watching Trout on television is a testament to how talented he is.