While Cody Bellinger has been entrenched at first base for much of the season, he spent each of the past two games playing the outfield. On Monday night, it was so the Los Angeles Dodgers could start Rob Segedin at first base. And on Tuesday, Adrian Gonzalez was in the lineup.
Bellinger started the series opener against the San Diego Padres in left field, and slid over to center in the second contest. Although not a natural outfielder, Bellinger very much looks the part due to his athleticism.
During the seventh inning of what turned into a rout on Tuesday, Bellinger flashed his strong and accurate arm. Hunter Renfroe lined a two-out base hit into center field that Bellinger fielded on a hop and fired a strike to home plate.
His throw beat Wil Myers, who was tagged out on his attempt to score. Bellinger’s throw drew a response from Yasiel Puig, the man typically responsible for throwing runners out.
“He’s a special player,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said about his rookie. “We saw the arm strength and accuracy. Regardless of where you put him on the field, it seems like the arm plays up, the ability plays up.”
Bellinger’s impressive dart preserved the Dodgers’ 5-2 lead, which was added onto in the bottom of the seventh behind a solo home run from Gonzalez and Corey Seager’s three-run homer.
The Dodgers secured the top record in the National League and home-field advantage throughout the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2009. What’s more, the 56th win at home broke a Los Angeles franchise record.