PHOENIX — The Dodgers have scored 17 runs in the first two games of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks, but first baseman Cody Bellinger is fighting through a slump at the plate.
Bellinger is 1-for-10 with six strikeouts in the first two games of the series, and dating back to the regular season is 4-for-34 (.118) with two doubles, five walks and 16 strikeouts in his last 10 games.
His current streak of 10 games without a home run is his second-longest drought of the year. He went homerless for 11 games and 47 plate appearances from June 26 to July 7. His current streak without a home run is 42 PA.
“I think with Cody it's a little bit mechanics, it's a little bit approach,” manager Dave Roberts said on Sunday. “Obviously a Zack Greinke is very aware of his aggressiveness outside of the strike zone, and to expect him to challenge him in the strike zone is unrealistic.
“So it just boils down to Cody trying to stay bullish in the strike zone. I think it's not like he's trying to swing at balls out of the strike zone, and that's obvious.”
Bellinger has seen 49 pitches in his 10 plate appearances in the NLDS, including three three-ball counts. During the season, he led the Dodgers and was 15th in the National League averaging 4.10 pitches per plate appearance.
“From the defensive side, he's really been plus-plus for us. Baserunning, he's been very good,” Roberts said. “I think just in the box, he needs to be a little bit more patient, and I think that he's a little overaggressive.”
In three games against Greinke this season, Bellinger was 3-for-9 with a home run and a double, with both extra-base hits coming at Chase Field on Aug. 9.
On Monday, Bellinger was named the Dodgers’ finalist for the Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the top offensive performer in each league. The award is determined by a combination of fan voting and a panel of Hall of Famers, including Aaron himself as well as Roberto Alomar, Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Eddie Murray and Robin Yount.