Cody Bellinger, Dodgers Rout Giants 9-2 in Game 2 to Even NLDS 1-1

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers Rout Giants 9-2 in Game 2 to Even NLDS 1-1

AP Photo/John Hefti

Julio Urias was dealing, Cody Bellinger found his stroke and the Los Angeles Dodgers evened their NLDS matchup with the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night, winning 9-2. 

Urias wasn’t just excellent on the mound. He also knocked in a run with a second-inning RBI. 

mlb @mlb

Julio Urías helps his own cause! #PitchersWhoRake

It’s always a good sign when the starting pitcher helps out his own cause at the plate. 

The Giants kept things close until the top of the sixth, when the Dodgers pushed four across the plate, including a two-run double for Bellinger:

mlb @mlb

Belli with a big hit!!

mlb @mlb

4 runs on 2 pitches. 😱

The complexion of this one changed QUICKLY.

Mookie Betts also showed up in a big way, with an RBI single and an incredible throw to cut down Wilmer Flores as he attempted to reach third on a single, ending a potential Giants rally in the bottom of the sixth. It was the second of two excellent defensive plays from the Dodgers at a key moment:

mlb @mlb

Dazzling defense by the @Dodgers. 😱

mlb @mlb

Mookie with a strike. 🎳

The Dodgers would add another three runs in the top of the eighth, wrapping up Game 2.

So the series now heads to Los Angeles, tied at a game apiece, with the Dodgers controlling homefield advantage. Thus far, the two best teams in baseball throughout the regular season—and two bitter NL West rivals—haven’t disappointed in this series. 

Key Stats

Julio Urias, LAD: Five innings, three hits, one run, five strikeouts

Cody Bellinger, LAD: 1-for-4, two RBI, one run

Chris Taylor, LAD: 2-for-4, three runs

Kevin Gausman, SFG: 5.1 innings, four hits, four runs, seven strikeouts

Buster Posey, SFG: 3-for-4

Brandon Crawford, SFG: 2-for-4, one RBI

If Bellinger Gets Going, Look Out Below

It’s no secret that the 2021 season was a struggle for Bellinger. The 2019 NL MVP hit a woeful .165 with just 10 homers and 36 RBI in 95 games. 

But there are signs that Bellinger might be turning things around at precisely the right time for Los Angeles. He had a hit and two walks in the Wild Card win over the St. Louis Cardinals. His double on Saturday night helped break the game open. 

It’s safe to say he really needed that hit:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

Cody Bellinger was hitting .038 (2-for-53) with 25 strikeouts in the regular season and the postseason vs. the #SFGiants until his 2-run double helping break open this game. Dodgers up 6-1.

Jayson Stark @jaysonst

Not to suggest it had been a while since Cody Bellinger’s last multi-RBI double, but…

The last time he got one, he hadn’t even won an MVP award yet.

That was Aug. 20, 2019 – a bases-loaded double vs. the Blue Jays.

He only had two one-run doubles all season this year. Wild!

If Bellinger can regain his mojo, an already dangerous Dodgers lineup becomes that much scarier. The Dodgers probably don’t need 2019 Bellinger to return to win this series, given the other talent on the roster, but it sure would help. 

Paging Evan Longoria

Evan Longoria has now gone seven straight games without a hit. He came into the night hitting .116 with no homers, no RBI and four runs over his previous 43 at-bats across the past 15 games. 

Longoria finds himself in a slump of epic proportions. Granted, he was hitting seventh for the Giants on Saturday night, so it’s not as though the team is relying on his bat in the middle of the lineup. And his contributions at the hot corner shouldn’t be overlooked. 

But he’s essentially been an automatic out for opposing pitchers in the past week or so. 

Chris Espinosa @cdespinosa

When was the last time Longoria reached base? #SFGiants

Longoria wasn’t the reason the Giants lost Game 2. The pitching stuff holds that L. But his struggles at the plate are becoming seriously detrimental for the Giants at the worst possible time.

What’s Next?

Game 3 is at Dodger Stadium on Monday night at 9:37 p.m. ET (TBS). Max Scherzer is set to take the mound for the Dodgers against a pitcher to be determined for the Giants. 

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