Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Explains Cody Bellinger’s Failed Stolen Base Attempt

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The Los Angeles Dodgers only scored two runs in a loss to the New York Mets that snapped their nine-game winning streak, with both of them provided by Cody Bellinger on his base hit in the fourth inning.

It cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2 and left the Dodgers with runners on the corners and two outs. That prompted manager Dave Roberts to pinch-hit for David Price with Billy McKinney, who ultimately had the bat taken out of his hands.

McKinney was ahead 2-1 in the count against Marcus Stroman when Bellinger broke for second base. Mets catcher Patrick Mazekia disregarded the potential for a double steal and threw down to Javier Baez.

It appeared likely Bellinger was going to be tagged out but he pulled up short and ultimately was caught in a rundown to end the inning. AJ Pollock, who never attempted to leave third base, declined to share specifics of the sequence or play call during his postgame interview.

“That was a miscommunication on my part,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the loss. “I felt Cody had a really good opportunity to steal a base right there, and he ended up thinking it was a steal and stop, versus the straight steal.

“I own that. That was miscommunication on my part.”

Had Bellinger successfully stolen the base, one swing of the bat from McKinney could have given the Dodgers a lead. Roberts acknowledged the out on the basepaths arguably changed the complexion of the game.

“You’ve still got to get a hit right there, but it potentially could’ve if he gets a hit,” he said. “Absolutely.”

Bellinger’s slump

The calendar turning to August saw Bellinger put together an eight-game hitting streak that on top of production included improved at-bat quality. However, prior to Sunday, he was hitless in his past four games, and five of the last six.

On the season Bellinger is still only batting .174/.258/.336 with seven doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 31 RBI. He and Roberts have attributed some of the struggles to not yet having full strength or range of motion in a surgically-repaired right shoulder.

Bellinger and Roberts nonetheless have both expressed confidence better results are to come.

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