LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers can’t lose for winning.
On Sunday they fell behind 5-0, largely thanks to Brandon McCarthy’s three wild pitches.
They were playing their second baseman (Logan Forsythe) at first, their first baseman (Cody Bellinger) in right, their super-utility man (Enrique Hernandez) at shortstop, their backup catcher (Austin Barnes) at second and a pedigreed shortstop (Chris Taylor) in left.
The day droned on, quiet and hot, and then you started seeing things..
The strike zone somehow contracted in the heat. Five Dodgers scored on wild pitches, which hasn’t happened since “baseball” was two words
Kenley Jansen, the closer, stroked a double to the wall and drove in a run. If he’d done that more often as a minor league catcher, he wouldn’t be pitching today. But he also gave up his first walk, four days into the official summer.
The Dodgers won, 12-6. They did have one constant, although he only showed up on April 25.
Bellinger hit home run No. 23, beat out a fairly routine ground ball to shortstop, sprinted and made a barrel-roll catch in right-field, and then fired his 24th home run into the right-field pavilion like American Sniper.
The personal history is getting longer with Bellinger and yet the words are drying up. “He is not of this earth!” yells play-by-play man Charley Steiner. If Bellinger had only half as many homers he would still be a sensation.
Bellinger says the ball “is looking real big” right now, at least until he hits it, and he said he’s enjoying the “cat and mouse” game with the pitchers. They are not. Tom has eaten a whole nest of Jerrys by now.
The second home run prompted Bellinger’s first curtain call. “I don’t know what took so long,” McCarthy said. “He should be three or four curtain calls deep by now.”
Yet with all these leisurely trots around the bases, it was revelatory to see Bellinger digging to beat a throw by shortstop Pat Valaika, who kicked everything into gear a little too…