Cody Bellinger snapped out of his 0-for-13 slump to open the World Series with two big doubles in Saturday’s Game 4 win over the Astros, thanks to a change he made in batting practice.
“I hit every ball in BP today to the left side of the infield. I’ve never done that before in my life. Usually I try to lift,” Bellinger told reporters after the game. “I needed to make an adjustment, and saw some results today.”
Bellinger doubled in the seventh inning and scored the Dodgers’ first run, then he doubled again in the ninth to drive home the second run, the start of the five-run winning rally in the final frame. Both hits were to left field.
“He was able to slow the game down and not put too much pressure on himself,” manager Dave Roberts said. “You look at the at-bats tonight that he had, huge. He came up big.”
Just one night earlier, Bellinger struck out out in all four at-bats, and the first postgame question was whether he should get a day off.
“Everybody kind of had the same message with him. ‘We believe in you. You’re our guy. You’re special, remember that’,” said Alex Wood. “And he went out there and hopped right back on the horse and had some big hits for us tonight.”
It was Wood’s mound performance that kept the Dodgers close enough for Bellinger, et al in Game 4. Wood allowed just one hit in his 5⅔ innings, a solo home run to George Springer, his final batter faced.
“I thought that obviously he pitched an incredible game,” Roberts said. “Woody’s command tonight, his compete was just off the charts.
Alex Wood did a great job of keeping the ball down tonight. pic.twitter.com/6m88nV0cn1— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 29, 2017
The Dodgers can now move to within one game of a World Series championship with Clayton Kershaw on the mound on Sunday night in Game 5, facing off against Dallas Keuchel in a rematch of Game 1.
Roberts said both Kenta Maeda — who threw 42 pitches and recorded eight outs on Friday — and Brandon Morrow — who pitched in four of the last five days — will be available in relief on Sunday.