Cody Bellinger hit a home run in a second consecutive postseason game but he and the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated much more cautiously than in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
When Bellinger gave the Dodgers a lead over the Atlanta Braves, he bumped arms with AJ Pollock, then Kiké Hernandez before arriving in the dugout. Adrenaline from the moment fueled the force with which Bellinger and Hernandez made contact, resulting in the reigning NL MVP dislocating his right shoulder.
Trainers popped it back into place and Bellinger finished out the game. He downplayed any concern and was in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the World Series. His two-run homer broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning.
As Bellinger crossed home plate and jogged toward the dugout, he stopped to celebrate with teammates by tapping toes. “I think I’ll continue to do that. Maybe my whole career, who knows,” Bellinger joked after the Dodgers’ 8-3 win.
Manager Dave Roberts said prior to the game he didn’t feel the need to ask players that they be more cautious with celebrations. He was confident the injury scare spoke volumes and was enough of a message.
Bellinger nonetheless made his intentions with the toe tap clear. “I said it today before the game. I was like, ‘If I ever hit one, I’m not touching anybody’s arm. I’m going straight foot,'” he said. “It was pretty funny.”
Bellinger’s home run was his third in four career-bats (including regular season) off Rays starter Tyler Glasnow. “I don’t know. I really don’t,” he said of the success.
“He’s got really good stuff, and today was just a moment for me where I tried to get the run in and stayed simple with it. … Muncy was on second, I just tried to get him in anyway possible. Jam shot, barrel, anything. I saw a pitch I thought I could drive and tried to put a good swing on it.”
Bellinger confident after testing shoulder
Bellinger bypassed wearing a brace for his right shoulder but did appear to have it on his mind when attempting a running catch at the wall in left-center field. “It was the first time I challenged it, close to the wall, I dropped it and my shoulder hit the wall,” Bellinger said.
“I was like, ‘OK, I’m fine.’ Mookie and C.T. were like, ‘Now you know. You’re going to come up with a catch later in the game.’ Luckily I had an opportunity to show I’m alright. I am alright and I feel good.”
Bellinger did get another opportunity, making a leaping catch to take an extra-base hit away from the Rays.
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