Cody Bellinger’s recent doldrums cost him a start Saturday for the Dodgers, but that didn’t derail him.
Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year snapped an 0-for-15 postseason skid with a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning that started the Dodgers’ comeback in their 4-3 victory over the Brewers in Game 2 of the NLCS.
“[Friday], I felt as good as I have in a long time, no results,” Bellinger said. “I felt good in L.A. and Atlanta [in the NLDS], no results. It’s frustrating, but at the same time I’ve got the support of teammates that told me to keep going that have been there, that have struggled. That kind of helps me understand it’s a hard game.”
Bellinger last season set an all-time Dodger rookie record with 14 hits and three homers in the postseason.
David Freese started at first base in Bellinger’s spot on Saturday.
Lorenzo Cain gave the Brewers an immediate lift defensively by reaching over the fence in right-center to rob Freese of a home run in the first inning. It was just the latest defensive gem by Cain, a MVP candidate who arrived to the Brewers last offseason on a five-year deal worth $80 million.
“Defense was a huge part of the equation,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, when asked about the Brewers’ decision to sign Cain. “I think it probably was a central factor in the decision is how well he plays defense and the pride he takes in his defense and how important it is for him.”
The Brewers’ loss ended a 12-game winning streak dating to Sept. 23. It was the franchise’s second-longest winning streak within a calendar year, behind only a 13-game winning streak to open the 1987 season.
The Dodgers and Brewers have set a new record for most combined pitching appearances through the first two games of an LCS with 27. On Saturday the two teams used 14 pitchers.