LOS ANGELES – Cody Bellinger did not look the same striker in October as he did during the failed regular season.
This is because he is not like that.
At the end of the season, Bellinger dropped his arms and extended his stance slightly. During the postseason, he took another step in the adjustment, occasionally lifting himself up slightly in the batsman’s box, and even choking on the bat.
The results are encouraging. Bellinger entered Game 4 of the National League championship against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, 7 with a score of 24 (.292) with four walks and six RBIs, including the ninth-inning RBI winning game of the fifth NL Series game against the San Francisco Giants and changing momentum home run with three runs on Tuesday eighth inning.
“It’s challenging, but I think when you bottom out there is a lot of room for openness and change,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of Bellinger’s seasonal change. “To his credit, he dropped his arms, realized that he needed to hit the ball more square, flatter, remove the loop from his swing, and you see the path of that bat (at home early). There is no way to align a baseball with an uppercut.
“So all the credit goes to him and the guys who grind every single day.”
One of those trainers, Brant Brown, explained that the reason for the swing change was “to put him in a situation where he doesn’t have to over-complicate, overdo, or think too much about it. It’s really simple. It’s all about the execution. ”
With positive reinforcement for good results with altered swing, should Bellinger be expected to do the same in the 2022 season as he pushes for recovery?
“I don’t know the answer,” Roberts said. “I really think the success he has achieved will continue into the next year. Also I think just a full off-season of health, rather than rehab (after last year’s shoulder surgery) will also be a huge benefit.
“But whether he’ll keep his hands where they are, or go back to where he was when he was 100 percent healthy, I just don’t know the answer right now.”
The Dodgers went 3 out of 7 with runners in scoring positions, but were still only 5 out of 25 in those situations in the first three NLCS games and 16 out of 75 (.213) in the first nine games of their postseason.
“I think we had a few bad approaches,” said Muki Betts, who won with two strikeouts and RISP in Game 3, starting the daring race with a double in the eighth inning. “We were in an assisting position. We can always take the blame. But I think we have to give credit to the weapons that are there. They are really good.
“I know Bellie drives a Benz. But they also drive Benzes. … It’s hard. It’s hard to calm down, relax, and try to hit a good serve. But right there in the eighth (game 3), when Bellie comes out, I think it’s kind of a sigh of relief – like, “We finally did it,” and now it’s getting contagious. ”
The Braves planned to launch 23-year-old right-hander Huascar Inoa in game four. Yoah made 17 appearances with the Braves during the regular season but missed three months after hitting the bench in desperation and breaking his serving arm.
Ynoa was scratched early in Game 4 due to shoulder inflammation and was excluded from the active squad due to injury. Left-hander Dylan Lee has been added to the team.
The Dodgers ended their trade with the Kansas City royals for left-hander Danny Duffy, sending double-right-hander Zach Villeman to the royals as a player to be named later.
A 19th round pick from Kent State in 2017, Willemant was 3-2 with a 3.78 ERA for the Tulsa Drillers this season.
Duffy was on the trade injured list due to a recurring forearm problem and did not go to the Dodgers.
Gavin Lux’s improper play against the wall in midfield on Austin Riley’s flyball in the fourth inning of Game 3 was initially recognized as an official double scorer. After checking MLB, the call was changed to a two-base error on Lux. Two of the four runs allowed by Buehler are now unearned.