Cody Bellinger Homers Twice to Lead Dodgers in 8-2 Victory Over Padres

The Dodgers (and Adrian Gonzalez) read the writing on the clubhouse walls – and they must have read the writing here on LADR as well. Gonzalez signed himself onto the disabled list this morning, completing the one for one roster trade-off as Joc Pederson came back to the club after his own stint on the DL.  Welcome to the Cody Bellinger Era.

In other news, the Dodgers remained stubborn donkeys as they kept Chris Taylor on the bench and .104 hitter Chase Utley in the lineup. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.

Speaking of  not winning them all, the Dodgers opened a weekend series against their southern rivals, the San Diego Padres, with Kenta Maeda on the mound. Here’s how the game unfolded.

It actually stayed folded pretty tightly the first three innings, as neither team generated much offense, despite San Diego’s Chacin being vulnerable to the walk. Then the fourth inning rolled around, and the man taking the place of the File Cabinet, Cody Bellinger, led off the inning with a blast deep into the San Diego night. The Dodgers were now up 1-0.

The Padres struck back in the fourth themselves. Despite Maeda having 7 strikeouts through four innings, he gave up a lead off double, a walk and a single to give the Padres the tying run. Later in the inning a throwing error by Bellinger allowed a Padre runner to advance to third with one out. He was then sac flied home. The inning ended on a wonderful running catch by Yasiel Puig in right-center field, but the damage was done. The Padres took the lead 2-1.

Maeda was done in the middle of the sixth and then things got very dicey. Luis Avilan and Sergio Romo combined to load the bases with only one out, but Romo threw the pitch of the night to strike out Renfroe for the second out. On the next batter, Justin Turner made a diving catch of a low line drive to strand all the runners and get the Dodgers out of the jam.

After starter Chase Utley wasted everyone’s time with more useless at bats, the Dodgers allowed Chris Taylor to play, and he immediately belted out a base hit to lead off the seventh. Franklin Gutierrez then got a pinch hit single. Up came Andrew Toles and out flew the ball on a gapper to CF. Both runners scored and the Dodgers retook the lead 3-2.

In the Padres half of the seventh, Pedro Baez walked the first batter, but Yasmani Grandal gunned him down when he tried to steal second. The Padres never threatened again.

With two outs in the eighth, Yasiel Puig got on with a little infield dribbler. He stole second and took third when the Padres’ errant throw to get him ended up in short CF. Chris Taylor (The Utley Alternative) than came up and promptly knocked Puig in for a big insurance run. The Dodgers were up 4-2.

The Dodgers weren’t done, however, and they kept on hitting in the ninth. Corey Seager and Justin Turner combined base hits to become runners on the corners with one out. Yasmani Grandal knocked out an infield single to score Seager. Cody Bellinger decided he’d had enough of this itty-bitty singles business, and he juked a bomb high and deep into center field to clear the bases. The Dodgers stood atop the Padres 8-2, and took the first game of the series.

How do you say “Whiff” in Japanese? At one point Maeda struck out six batters in a row.

Deuces are Wild: For the second time Cody Bellinger hit two home runs.

Kenta Maeda went 5 innings with 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 ER, 3 walks, and 8 Ks.  ERA 5.81

 

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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57 thoughts on “Cody Bellinger Homers Twice to Lead Dodgers in 8-2 Victory Over Padres

  1. Bellinger certainly looks like he’s found a home here. To me, if he’s going to play 1B, we’re going to have to reshape the outfield. Pederson not getting it done. Is this going to be another year of waiting for the breakout? I’ve no patience for this. So many average players playing better than Pederson. How difficult could it be putting a package together to land an everyday CFer who can hit? Even promoting someone from the farm could work. Who would that be, esteemed posters?

    Grandal is another story. He provides some value with his catching and that is not something to be taken for granted. His hitting, otoh, is pretty awful and doesn’t deserve to be a starter. This is a position that management should be really scouring the league for. Barnes doesn’t look like a pro catcher to me. I see no advantage to having him except in the case of injury to Grandal. Dodgers need to get serious and swallow some ego.

    Utley? Words don’t adequately describe my feelings any longer. 2 games in a row, Taylor pinch hits and comes up clutch. Is that not enough for a change? How could it get any worse? Cut the dead weight!!

    1. Pederson will be fine. He is back one game after 10 days on the DL and you want him gone? The injury that put him on the DL had been lingering since spring. He is also the best defensive CF in the organization. Nobody at AAA is that good or has his power. Verdugo is strictly a contact hitter. He struck out once last night on a pitch that was out of the zone that he did not swing at and that home plate umpire was lousy all night. He also hit a ball to the wall that would have been out in Dodger Stadium. Give him a month, he still sucks, well then maybe they do something.

  2. Good game. A lot of things went right, including schedule timing. We are playing the Padres when the dbacks are playing the Rockies. Movin on up….

    At the risk of repeating myself and sounding redundant I’m going to take the risk of repeating myself and sound redundant. Get out your umbrellas, it’s about to rain on the parade. Remember when Puig first came up and pitchers were throwing cheese down the middle because this kid has never seen cheese like this before and he’ll get blowed away by it. ’emember that? He smeared that cheese all over outfield walls and in outfield seats. A few minutes later it was discovered he couldn’t hit inside fastballs and he suffered from Kemp’s Disorder, a proclivity to swing at breaking pitches a foot off the plate. Take a look at the videos of Bellinger’s home runs and tell me what you see. Then consider this – in at bats he didn’t walk, his minor league strikeout rate at and above AA was a tick above 24%. So far in the bigs it’s 21%. The book on Bellinger is being written and the first sentence in that book says DO NOT throw him center cut fastballs. From what I’ve seen I can say with conviction he is a natural born mistake hitter. He’s probably a better mistake hitter than Puig is. If I’m a pitching coach I’m telling my guys to pitch him hard on the hands and soft down and away. He crowds the plate, so far he owns it. Take it away from him. Spin the ball, change speeds and hit corners. So far he hasn’t chased much, because he hasn’t had to. He’s just too damn comfortable up there. Time for MLB pitchers to put a rock in his shoe.

    1. But, this is how players dig out a place for themselves in the lineup! Pederson was a mind blowing HR hitter his first season and then flattened out mighty quick, but is still our starting CF. It doesn’t look like Bellinger is going anywhere soon. You can’t afford to not play him. We can’t say the same thing about Pederson, Utley, and Grandal. We can definitely afford to not play those 3 musketeers. But how do you keep Taylor on the bench when Utley has done squat? There is no logic to this at all. The guy has been in the league for 20 years. Say bye bye, Chase. Your days are numbered.

  3. It ended up 8-2 and Bellinger hit two out, but Puig won this game almost single handedly with 3 great OF plays and good aggressive base running.

  4. Plan: Put Grandal on DL. Call up one of our catchers who might be an improvement. If he works out, send Barnes to OKC and activate Grandal and start trying to trade him, for anything that we could use. Barnes can be recalled if needed.

  5. Rich Hill will make another rehab start in Class A ball on Tuesday and then rejoin the Dodgers rotation, manager Dave Roberts told the L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin (Twitter link) and other reporters. Hill has twice been placed on the DL this season due to recurring blister problems, and while a potential move to the bullpen had been considered, the southpaw will instead resume his duties as a starting pitcher. Hill’s first rehab outing (60 pitches split between a bullpen session and an in-game performance) last Thursday seemed to go well, as Hill told MLB.com’s George Alfano that his blister wasn’t an issue.
    In other Dodgers injury news, Roberts also told the media (including Shaikin) that second baseman Logan Forsythe will resume his rehab assignment after the weekend. Forsythe, who suffered a fractured big right toe two weeks ago, was tentatively slated to be activated from the DL this weekend before he felt some hamstring tightness during a rehab game earlier this week.

    1. Platooning is a paramount priority in FAZology and at the top of the list of reasons Utley was brought back. He has what appears to be long leash.

      Squirrel had a 2.wtf ? WAR last year and that is ALL that matters to management. He will again be among the leaders in PB and finding nuts so we all need to get used to it.

      Is it a negative stretch to say the Hill blister issue will be an ongoing problem? Anything past 50 pitches is dangerous for him. His only chance to go 5 is to somehow get people out with his fastball and change up. Good luck with that. And why was he talking about his shoulder? I’m not counting on Hill. I’ve filed him away in the Kazmir folder. If I’m wrong, hallelujah.

        1. I’ve seen Grandal get 2 passed balls while trying to “frame” a ball into a strike. He’s got 3 PB already so maybe all three were picked up that way. Just catch the damn ball with a quiet mitt. You’re not doing anyone any good trying so hard to make something of nothing.

          And here’s something that maybe some don’t know about passed balls. They aren’t considered errors. A run scored due to a passed ball is not recorded as an unearned run. Passed balls and wild pitches are considered to be part of pitching rather than fielding. Grandal’s defensive metrics are completely skewered by this stupid fact.

          Bluto, Squirrel find nut many times over course of season. Keep swinging like a madman and that .225 avg will again yield a high OPS.

          1. Wouldn’t the umpire’s lack of competency everyone complains about negate any benefit at all theoretically derived from “framing”? In other words, if umpires make flakey incorrect calls all the time, why would we think “framing” would influence the call in our favor? I can see where an umpire might resent the “framing’ attempt and result in adverse calls against us.

          2. I watch the games on mlbtv with a pitch tracking function right on screen. It amazes me how inaccurate MLB umpires are with the strike zone. That guy last night, Marvin Hudson, was as bad as any I’ve seen so far this year. And framing had little to do with it, he missed some that were two ball widths out of the zone or two widths in it. I know the numbers guys have all the charts on every pitch catchers catch and their data proves what they want it to prove, but my eyes night after night tell me all that data is made oblique by a high percentage of human error, some of it excusable, most of it not. This game uses technology all over the place, but not where it would do the most good – the fairness of a strike zone 300 times a night, 162 games a year. Game outcomes are being effected. It’s past time to deal with this.

          3. That’s what Framing is! Taking a ball (that is outside, even demonstrably outside the strike zone) and getting it called a strike!

          4. Duh.

            Thanks for clearing that up bluto.

            What about those in the strike zone called balls? I saw at least 3 of those last night.

            The point is simply this – they started using replay because everyone in tv land could see how many plays umps were missing. It was embarrassing to MLB. They moved to fix it. I think for the most part everyone is glad they finally did. The average MLB umpire has a zone accuracy percentage around 85%., some better many worse. That means around 45 pitches are missed every day. We see ball 4 and strike 3 missed on a daily basis. Framed or not framed has nothing to do with accuracy. I say again, outcomes are being effected by this. It’s an easy fix. FIX IT!

  6. Game tied or we’re one run down, bases loaded, two out. Who would you rather see at the plate: Utley; Maeda; Ryu; Kershaw? For me, Utley would be fourth choice.

  7. The difference between a young Bellinger, and young Joc/Puig was that Bellinger, in his first 2 weeks, has already shown the smarts to BUNT THE BALL DOWN THE 3RD BASE LINE!!

    This does keep pitchers/defenses honest, and they know that he will adjust as they adjust. Meanwhile, Joc has yet to do this, and he’s been in the league 3 years. Ridic

    1. He’s yet to do it successfully. I doubt throughout his career he has ever been asked to bunt. He may not know how.

      I think the difference between Cody and the other swing out of their shoes all or nothing hitters on this team, is so far Cody hasn’t missed the cookies. Joc and Squirrel miss them everyday.

      1. Badger – glad you relented and got the MLB package.
        No brainer for an avid fan like you.
        I think Grandal is streaky – he could do with a streak now.

        1. Grandal is a blind squirrel Watford, he is streaky, but he is also what he is….mediocre with a bat. He will never be more than a .230 hitter. His OBP will be high because he walks, he will walk into one now and then so he should be good for 20-27 homers, and his ribbies somewhere around 60. But he will never be what the FO thinks he is. He is terrible at blocking pitches. The one thing I have seen improvement at is throwing out runners.

      2. Badger

        All of the young players were taught, to bunt.

        Roberts and his coaches, even have the young players bunt in batting practice, to be ready to bunt, in games.

        A player has to be all in on bunting, are they will not learn, or make the commitment, to bunt..

        Joc almost always, doesn’t go all in, when he is trying to bunt.

        1. I don’t buy that MJ. Just like stealing bases, bunting is not a part of sabermetrics. The only baseball players that bunt anymore are pitchers, and maybe Dee Gordon. When was the last time you saw a squeeze play? You can find film of it in the archives but you won’t see it in MLB. Sacrifice bunts used to be a visible stat. You have to search deep for it now. MLB most sac hits by team 2016 list – Dodgers 18th at 0.19 per game. I read an article three years ago explaining “why the bunt is foolish in today’s MLB”. Sac hits have trended down for several years now. I really doubt Roberts and the Dodgers spend much time on bunting.

          1. I agree, and bunting is not all that easy. It was hard enough facing kids who were wild in high school, facing guys with 98 MPH fastballs cannot be a picnic.

          2. Badger

            I don’t know what you don’t buy, because they said this, on the Dodger pre game show.

            And when Joc tries to bunt after he has one strike, is another way, that shows me, he isn’t all in, on bunting.

            He is the same way, when he has two strikes, when runners are in scoring position, because he doesn’t shorten his swing.

        2. A lot of a players ability to bunt or not comes with the element of fear. I know when I played, I was scared to death of getting hit on the hands. Had it happen twice, and it hurt like hell. Yeah it is a skill that all players should possess. Toles is an awful bunter. he could add 20 points to his batting average if he could bunt. He is so bad that Roberts took the bunt sign off and he hit the go ahead double. He had 5 SF bunts in over 1000 plate appearances in the minors. Joc is not a great bunter. But most power hitters are not. Bellinger may well be the exception rather than the rule. Adrian is a lousy bunter too.

          1. In high school I hit third in the order and every now and then I would drop a bunt down the third base line and beat it out easily. We called it a “right hand drag bunt”. Then I would steal second to get into scoring position. We took what was given, and stole one now and then. It was a strategy that worked on offense AND defense. The game isn’t played like that anymore.

          2. Michael

            You saw Toles bunt once.

            And by the way, Toles didn’t bunt, last night!

            Joc is in his third year, and he still insists, on pulling the ball, and hitting into the shift.

            Just like when he won’t shorten his swing, with two strikes.

            And I am not the only one saying that!

          3. MJ, Toles attempted a bunt on the first pitch. I watched the whole game. Roberts took the bunt sign off and then Toles fouled a pitch off….right after that he doubled. I know he did not get the bunt down, but he tried to. runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs, it is almost obligatory. So do not tell me he did not bunt, he attempted to bunt and failed. And I have seen him try a few times, he is lousy at it….Joc walked once, struck out once, hit one ground ball out. And the one ball he squared up he hit almost to the wall in CF….it was not pulled. Joc is in his 3rd year yes, he is trying to break old habits, and this is his first game back from the DL and everybody is jumping on his back saying this and that and actually last night all of his AB’s were pretty good. He was struck out on a pitch that was actually a ball. You gripe about him pulling the ball all the time and that is not the case. I have seen him wait more this year and go to left./

          4. Forget about bunting, Joc is not a good hitter, period! Count the games we will win when he is not the starter.

  8. First, I agree with Badger, that ump last night was beyond terrible. He called 2 pitches that were balls in one at bat for Turner and one of those was strike 3. Terrible. Grandal, AKA Blind Squirrel has no business being in the 4 hole what so ever. He is hitting .060 in that spot in the order. His stats say he hits better 5th or 6th. His pitch framing might steal a few strikes, but his movement of that glove also costs a bunch of passed balls. He still is one of the worst pitch blockers I have seen in years. Balls in the dirt are his true achillie’s heel. You guys have way too little patience. Especially with a player just off the DL in his first game back. In case you did not know, Joc has had less than 60 at bats. He is rated as the # 13 CF in all of baseball. He improved his average over the 2nd half last year 30 points. He has totally had his swing revamped and it is a work in progress. His power is natural, a lot like Corey’s and it will be there. He just needs more reps. Last night his only K came on one of the umps really bad calls. He hit a ball really hard to deep CF, it probably would have been out in LA. He is still the best defensive OF in the organization. You gonna trade him for some older guy like McCutcheon? Verdugo is a good player but with little power and he sure does not have Joc’s glove. Eibner is hitting 300 at OKC, but he has not hit a homer since he went back down. I think you are giving up way to soon on a guy with less than 3 full years in the majors. I have seen worse, trust me. And now to Yasiel. Last night was one of the reasons I am so glad that management has not given in and traded the guy. Nails a runner at 3rd with a laser beam throw that not many RF’s are even capable of. He beat out 2 squibber’s for his only 2 hits. Steals 2nd and keeps going when the ball is missed. Makes 2 outstanding catches in RF. Of all the players on this team, he is both the most frustrating and entertaining to watch….Viva Yasiel!

      1. I think the batting practice bunts go like this:

        Lay 2 down then swing away.

        That’s not bunting practice. If you’ve ever really done it, it’s done against live pitching in game situations. In a game situation you have certain elements in play you don’t have in a pre game batting practice against some Tommy Lasorda type guy behind a screen. For Joc to be able to do it it has to be done with a Major League pitcher on the mound, against the shift. Make it real or forget it. If you’re going to beat that shift do it on strike one. The thing is, as Bellinger proved, it doesn’t need to be placed perfectly nor do you need to haul ass to beat it out. Just push it that general direction and take your base. It’s a gift, from them to you. Take it. Your chances at beating the shift by swinging away are probably no better than 25%, and that’s if you actually hit it. Your chances of getting on by bunting to an area that has no defenders is probably 80%. You are Major League hitters. Take the gift and be grateful for it.

        1. Badger

          I leaned how to bunt at the age of 10.

          And I know how to bunt well.

          If Joc really wanted to learn how to bunt, he has many means, and people, that would help him.

          How did Bellinger Learn?

          And you have said this about Joc, for a long time.

          And Joc has tried to bunt on and off, in the last couple years.

          And Joc doesn’t try to go the other way, like Bellinger does either, so people get frustrated with Joc.

          1. Have you ever tried to bunt against a major league pitcher?> Not that easy at that level. Bellinger hit a single into the shift last night. It barely got through. All his homers save the 2nd one last night were pull jobs to right, one hit the foul pole. Joc is adjusting every game, listening to his batting coach and not trying to hit the ball out of the stadium every night. It takes time, but obviously you think he cannot change even when you sit there and watch a game. He is one day back off the DL and every body is jumping on him because he had an 0-3 night. If he is that bad after 150 AB’s well then maybe you have a gripe, but 63 at bats in, I would not be so worried, and the kid got better the 2nd half of last year. Have a little patience…….

    1. Michael

      Yes everything is saying something, even Badger compared Joc to Grandal.

      But you are no better, by trying to demean Toles.

  9. Badger, when you were playing in high school and bunted and stole that base wasn’t Moses pitching Jesus was the catcher?

    1. Funny.

      Jesus was pitching. For Santa Ana High. Jesus Morales. He threw BB’s. Some guy named Saul Tarsus was the catcher. (see what I did there). The third baseman played deep. They all did against middle of the order hitters. Pitchers fall off the mound toward first base, there is a lot of empty space between home plate and some slow footed third baseman playing near the outfield grass. There were shifts back then, but it was more shading this way or that. Nobody went to the other side of the field.

  10. So Wally Pip finally went on the DL and Bellinger got a chance to strut his stuff. I hear what you are saying Badger on the pitcher’s book being developed on Cody. However, it can’t be denied that we are quite possibly seeing the modern day Gehring in Wally Pip out scenario.

    1. If you are going to quote historical figures the least you can do is get their names right….Wally Pipp, and Lou Gehrig,

  11. Give Agon his due, his records and achievements are and will remain things to be proud of forever. Let’s not prepare a pedestal in Cooperstown for Mr. Bellinger just yet…

      1. He’s 35. Good hitters can hit much later than that. Remember Edgar Martinez? He hit over .300 4 times from 35 to 38. He drove in 145 at age 37. He hit .294 with an .894 OPS at 40. It can be done. Get healthy Adrian. I still believe in you.

        Jonah, you probably know this – memory is a mercurial thing. A Stanford Journal of Legal Studies showed humans fill gaps with created memories to tell a tailored story. Our stories are told with a purpose in mind and bias distorts memory. I prefer to remember myself as a stud, a heroic star among the common. I find it’s easier to live with myself that way.

          1. The small victories I had after school or outside of school are far more memorable to me than anything that happened there. I respect what I got from school but I don’t want to remember one second of it.

          2. Good for you. Being captain of the football and baseball teams, dating the head song leader was very cool. In some ways I peaked at 18. About a year later I was in Vietnam. There is a 3 year period I would prefer to forget. I’ve got about 13 medals and awards from my time in the Corps, but honestly I prefer remembering my junior and senior years of high school over anything I did servicing the Monsanto, GE and the KBR war business.

            I joke about creating memories that I can live with. Some memories are nothing to joke about. Bless the past and move away from it. The past is not where we’re going.

            Tonight we win as we have God pitching against Padres. We shut them out 10 to nothing.

  12. New post

    Taylor 2B
    Seager SS
    Turner 3B
    Gutierrez LF
    Bellinger 1B
    Hernandez CF
    Puig RF
    Barnes C
    Kershaw P

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