Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Cody Bellinger has maintained his only focus is on helping the Los Angeles Dodgers repeat as World Series champions and there isn’t any lingering frustration or disappointment from a disappointing regular season that was marred by injuries.
Bellinger and Gavin Lux were credited for helping spark the Dodgers to a win over the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, and the former MVP delivered in a big moment yet again Thursday night at Oracle Park.
After Justin Turner was hit by a pitch and Gavin Lux reached on a single, Bellinger gave the Dodgers a decided lead by driving a slider from Giants closer Camilo Doval into right-center field.
The RBI single was Bellinger’s third career go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later of a postseason game. That tied him with Carlos Correa, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Pete Rose for most in MLB history.
Bellinger previously hit a two-run double against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2017 World Series, and a walk-off single against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 13th inning in Game 4 of the 2018 NL Championship Series.
As for winner-take-all postseason games, Bellinger now has three career hits in those as well. That ties him with Manny Ramirez and Gene Tenace for most in MLB history.
In addition to his RBI single in Game 5 against the Giants, Bellinger put himself into that category with a home run in the second inning in Game 7 in the 2018 NLCS, and a homer in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the 2020 NLCS.
Bellinger additionally is the third player in Dodgers franchise history with a go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later of a winner-take-all playoff game. Chris Taylor etched his name into the record book with a walk-off home run in the Wild Card Game, and Rick Monday did so with his blast in Game 5 of the 1981 NLCS.
Bellinger kept it ‘simple’
Although batting in a high-pressure moment, Bellinger focused on not allowing it to overwhelm him.
“I saw the first few pitches well, missed my pitches, and at that moment with J.T. on second, just tried to keep the momentum going and literally just tried to stay simple and stay within myself,” Bellinger explained of his game-winning hit.
“I saw that ball pretty well and just tried to stay simple with it.”
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