Dodgers manager Dave Roberts benches Cody Bellinger for lack of hustle against Giants
The Dodgers lost again on Sunday, closing down a 2-5 week and dropping their record to 12-15. They had a bit of drama as well, as manager Dave Roberts removed All-Star first baseman Cody Bellinger during the game for what he saw as a lack of hustle. Bellinger, for his part, didn’t seem to agree that he wasn’t hustling.
“I got in the dugout and he said I was out of the game,” Bellinger told reporters after the game. “I didn’t know any reason. Just put on my jacket, went up to the railing and watched the game. I’ve always played the game hard. I kind of took a big swing on the curveball, ended up on my knee. We’re down four runs. I’m not trying to make an out on the bases, going to third. He saw what he saw. It’s all good. I’m never going to dog that. Obviously it’s ‘Triples Alley.’ That’s what they call it. We’re down four. … That was my reasoning. … It was his decision. I can’t say anything against it.”
The play can be viewed on MLB.com. What Bellinger said rings pretty true. He accidentally went down to a knee on the swing, so he had to hop up and start running. By the time he was rounding first, the Giants were getting the ball in and getting thrown out at third base down 4-0 for the first out would be pretty bad. He doesn’t appear to be running too hard around first base, but we don’t get a look at everything. Perhaps Roberts saw everything and thought a better effort could have been made to press the issue, even if Bellinger ultimately held at second.
“There’s certain expectations in the way we have to play the game,” Roberts said (latimes.com). “When you don’t abide by that, then we’ll get somebody in there who will.”
Apparently when you hit a ball into Triples Alley and only get a double, it turns some heads, eh?
The big picture takeaway here is the Dodgers are just about to finish a pretty terrible April, given their expectations, and it’s possible Roberts is frustrated and/or doing whatever he can to get through to his team.