Cody Bellinger was benched on Sunday after starting the day with a single and a double. The Dodgers lost the game 4-2, and were defeated in three of four games in San Francisco. They’re 12-15 on the season.
Bellinger had a productive series – hitting two balls into triples alley ‘death valley’ – including this one. At most other parks, these are home runs. Bellinger also hit a ball in San Diego that went off the top of the wall.
Dave Roberts had this to say:
“There’s certain expectations about the way we play the game. When you don’t abide by that, we’ll get somebody in there who will.”
I think this is unfortunate. Bellinger has been one of the most productive Dodgers and plays hard day-in and day-out. In a tight ballgame like this one, a single and then a home run by Bellinger late ties the game. It’s a case of a manager seeming to make scapegoat of a young player during bad times.
The Dodgers head to Arizona for four games, the first of which will be started by Ross Stripling. This is going to be a tough test for the Dodgers with so many players out of the lineup. It wasn’t expected when the season began that the Dodgers would be relying on guys like Max Muncy and Kyle Farmer on an everyday basis. The four-game set in Arizona precedes a three-game series in Monterey, Mexico against the San Diego Padres.
The Dodgers are somehow only four games out – although they’re beginning to dig a hole that will be difficult to crawl out of. They have to find a way to take this series in Arizona against all odds, and then handle business against the Padres. It’s going to be a slow, long climb up the mountain for the 2018 Dodgers. But there’s no choice in the matter. This team is better than 12-15 – perhaps not by a lot – but they’re better than this.