It’s been a rough 2020 for reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, with his .239 batting average and abysmal .789 OPS. Those numbers are a far cry from his tour de force season of 2019 when he hit .305 with a 1.035 OPS and led the league in total bases (351).
But if the Dodgers are going to finally end their 30-plus year championship draught this season, they can look at his compete thievery of the NL’s 2020 darling Fernando Tatis Jr.
In Game 2 of this NLDS series in Arlington and the Dodgers clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the seventh inning, the Padres had a man on second with two outs. Tatis, as he’s apt to do, launched the second pitch in the at-bat to dead center of Globe Life Field. Bellinger, took an odd arcing approach (a banana route) to the wall, leaped, extending his glove over the wall, and snared the shot that would have given the Padres the lead.
It was the play of the postseason. Take a look.
The fireworks didn’t end there, as Dodgers pitcher Brusdar Graterol threw off his hat and glove in celebration, waved goodbye in the direction of the Padres’ dugout — and the Pods’ Manny Machado — and proceeded to blow them kisses.
Machado, so moved by the gesture, then appears to say to Graterol “Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!” Machado had homered an inning earlier off Clayton Kersaw and didn’t flip his bat, he threw it, while dropping a few motivational expletives for his teammates.
“We can celebrate, too,” said Dodgers’ Mookie Betts to Fox after the game. “There’s got to be two sides to it.”
These teams that clearly despise each other will take these warm feelings into Game 3 tomorrow night with L.A. up 2-0 after escaping with a 6-5 win.