The Los Angeles Dodgers’ skid continued on Sunday, losing to the San Francisco Giants, 4-3, to drop three out of four in their weekend series and fall to 12-15 on the season.
The biggest reason for Sunday’s loss was the bats staying quiet against Giants starter Ty Blach, which has been the case all throughout his young career. Blach gave up six hits and two runs in six innings of work.
Two of the hits came off the bat of All-Star first baseman Cody Bellinger. He had the Dodgers first two hits of the game, including a double to leadoff the fifth inning.
Bellinger dropped to one knee upon making contact with the ball and then did not hustle out of the box, resulting in a double on what otherwise would have been a triple with Bellinger’s speed.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts removed Bellinger from the game an inning later, and after the game, he offered an explanation on the benching, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“There wasn’t hustle on a play. He hit a ball 421 feet to right-center field and he cruised into second base and for me, I just feel that he’s too talented of a player. For a team that’s competing every day and grinding, and you got a right fielder out there who had chills and was throwing up a day prior and was diving out there, for Cody not to be on third base, and it’s something we’ve talked about before. So I wouldn’t be doing him or the team any service by not acting. We’ve talked about it before, he plays every day and there are certain expectations about the way we have to play the game. When you don’t abide by that then we’ll get someone in there that will, it’s pretty simple.”
Bellinger’s explanation for easing into second base on that play was that he did not want to make the first out of the inning at third base with his team trailing. Roberts did not give Bellinger the opportunity to explain that before pulling him from the game.
With his club playing their worst baseball of the season, Roberts chose to make an example of his young star first baseman, which could wind up lighting a spark in Bellinger and the entire team moving forward.