The Los Angeles Dodgers pummeled the Toronto Blue Jays and Cody Bellinger checked off another milestone by reaching 100 RBI, but the moment will likely be remembered for a vastly different reason.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning, Bellinger pulled a line drive into the right-center field gap. He immediately broke out of the batter’s box in a dead sprint, seemingly set on legging out a triple.
Three runs scored — giving Bellinger RBI Nos. 98, 99 and 100 — but the relay throw beat his head-first slide into third base. Bellinger committed the Cardinal Sin of recording the final out of the inning at third base, though everyone had a good laugh.
Bellinger’s pants came undone as he went into the bag, leaving the National League MVP candidate wearing a sheepish smile. “That was funny. I’m just glad I had my sliders on,” he said after the Dodgers’ 16-3 win.
Upon first glance of the play, the general assumption was Bellinger’s belt broke. However, that was not the case, and it left the 24-year-old at a loss to fully explain what transpired.
“The belt didn’t even break. My pants just fell. Don’t know how,” Bellinger shrugged. “Literally have no idea how. They just fell.”
As for reaching 100 RBI, he’s humbled by the accomplishment but like after setting other benchmarks this season, continues to focus on moving forward. “Hopefully I can keep going,” Bellinger said.
He’s the first Dodgers player with 100 RBI in a single season since Adrian Gonzalez drove in 116 in 2014. The year prior — his first full season with the Dodgers — Gonzalez finished with 100 RBI on the nose.
Bellinger nearly hit triple digits during his Rookie of the Year season but finished just short at 97. His regression resulted in a 76-RBI campaign in 2018.
Earlier this season Bellinger became the youngest player in Dodgers franchise history to hit 40 home runs and tied with Gary Sheffield (2000) for organization’s fastest player to do so by reaching it in 118 games.
Having set new career highs in home runs and RBI, Bellinger continues to add to those totals. “It’s a combination of confidence and understanding what I’m doing, with help from our hitting coaches of getting me dialed in every day,” he said of bouncing back from last year.
“Just continuing to learn about the game, just understanding how I’m feeling. If I have to compete a little harder or if I’m feeling good, taking advantage of those days. Just trying to keep doing what I’m doing.”