SAN FRANCISCO — Three hours earlier than Game 2 of the National League Division Series, Cody Bellinger sat down on the podium contained in the interview room at Oracle Park to reply questions on a season that, as much as that time, had been a disappointment.
Bellinger walked by the a number of accidents he suffered this yr, in addition to his restoration from arthroscopic surgical procedure on his proper shoulder in the course of the offseason. But in most of his solutions, Bellinger made positive to incorporate that he’s nonetheless feeling good and assured about his skill on the plate regardless of his forgettable season.
On the floor, that may not make a lot sense, provided that Bellinger completed the common season with a .165 batting common. But in his thoughts, he believed he was only one hit away from getting again on observe.
On Saturday night time, Bellinger backed up these phrases, smacking a two-run double to left-center discipline off right-hander Dominic Leone to anchor a four-run sixth inning. Bellinger’s hit helped the Dodgers create some separation, and the remainder of the offense proceeded to pile on in a dominant 9-2 win over the Giants. The best-of-five collection is now tied at one recreation apiece.
In Division Series with the present 2-2-1 format, groups which have cut up the primary two video games of their opponent’s house ballpark, earlier than returning house for Game 3, have gone on to win the collection 23 of 36 occasions (64%). This excludes 2020 (DS performed at impartial websites).
“[Giants right-hander Logan] Webb bought us yesterday, after the sport, tipped our cap,” mentioned Bellinger. “We’ve been down 1-0 earlier than, and we knew we needed to come out at present and actually execute our plan much more so than yesterday. … We executed our plans at present.”
As they appeared for a spark heading into Game 2, the Dodgers elected to begin NL Wild Card Game hero Chris Taylor in heart discipline. That transfer despatched Bellinger to first base and Matt Beaty to the bench. Starting Taylor paid off instantly, because the All-Star recorded the staff’s first hit, a one-out double within the second inning. Taylor additionally had a giant stroll within the sixth to spark one other rally. But the Dodgers’ first large hit got here from beginning pitcher Julio Urías.
Urías, who recorded 9 RBIs in the course of the common season, has turn out to be top-of-the-line hitting pitchers within the Majors. He proved that once more on Saturday, depositing a Kevin Gausman splitter into proper discipline for an RBI single to provide the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Urías additionally delivered on the mound, permitting one run over 5 innings.
“I feel the adrenaline kicks in,” Urías mentioned. “Obviously after they [intentionally] walked [No. 8 hitter AJ] Pollock, you type of need to do some bit higher, you need to attempt slightly bit tougher. And I feel that chance type of pushed me slightly bit extra to attempt to get successful in that spot, and it labored out.”
Once Urías broke the seal, the Dodgers had been in a position to put their Game 1 struggles behind them. The backside of the order stepped up in a giant manner, because the seven by 9 hitters had been liable for driving in 5 runs. That a part of the lineup was held hitless on Friday.
Bellinger, batting seventh and 2-for-53 towards the Giants this yr, and Pollock every recorded a two-run double within the four-run sixth inning. With Max Muncy (injured left elbow) out of the lineup, that’s the kind of manufacturing the Dodgers are going to wish from the underside of the order.
“I feel Cody Bellinger has not, he hasn’t been at his finest. I feel I’m positive he’s acknowledged that,” mentioned Giants supervisor Gabe Kapler. “At the identical time, he’s extremely gifted and gifted as an athlete, and that he’s at all times harmful.”
The prime of the Dodgers’ order did loads of harm, too. Eight of the 9 starters recorded at the least one hit, with Justin Turner being the exception. Los Angeles had seven gamers with at the least one hit and one RBI, matching a franchise postseason document. They final had seven gamers with successful and RBI in Game 3 of the 1947 World Series, when the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the Yankees, 9-8.
Los Angeles was additionally a lot better with runners in scoring place, ending 6-for-15 in Game 2. The Dodgers had been 0-for-5 in related conditions in Game 1.
“I feel we’re at all times fairly assured,” mentioned Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, who lower brief a Giants rally within the sixth with a tremendous throw. “We have a superb group of men right here, play the sport exhausting, play the sport the proper manner.”
The Dodgers really feel like Saturday’s efficiency is a greater illustration of the staff they’re. Just 24 hours after the disappointing Game 1 loss, they now head house — the place they posted a Majors-best 58-23 document in the course of the common season — within the driver’s seat of a collection that’s now basically a best-of-three.
They’ll even have three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer on the mound in Game 3. If Scherzer will get related run assist, the Dodgers will likely be robust to beat.
“That’s a superb feeling,” mentioned Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts. “It’s attention-grabbing how the narrative modifications from recreation to recreation. And proper now, it’s a three-game collection, we’ve home-field benefit and we’ve bought Max on the mound. So I like the place we’re at.”