“Coming into tonight’s game, has no RBI vs PHI this season.” That’s what was posted on the big screen during Cody Bellinger‘s first at-bat in Philadelphia on Tuesday. But Bellinger and the Dodgers changed the narrative.
Bellinger went 4-6 with 2 homers, 2 RBI, and 4 runs scored, Max Muncy collected two hits, 2 RBI, and a homer, and Alex Verdugo collected 3 hits, a homer, 2 RBI, and a run scored as the Dodgers pounded the Phillies with a final score of 16-2.
Through the first three innings, the Dodgers looked tired. But once the fourth inning rolled around, the Dodgers became a different team. In the 4th inning alone, the Dodgers manufactured runs with base hits to the outfield, two infield singles, a safety squeeze bunt, and a double-steal.
“That was kind of like in Spring Training, what we do on the backfields,” said Austin Barnes, who picked up an RBI with a successful safety squeeze.
“A sac bunt – first-and-third squeeze bunt – then we do a double steal. I thought it was great.”
From there the Dodgers went back to a more common way of scoring runs. In the 5th inning, Bellinger hit his 32nd homer of the year, tying Christian Yelich for the most in MLB.
Much to the delight of the countless Dodger fans in Citizen’s Bank Park, Bellinger hit another homer in the 7th inning. This homer, his 33rd of the year, put him atop the MLB Home Run leaderboard. Once again, as he rounded the bases in a visiting ballpark, chants of M-V-P rained down on him.
“That was special,” said Bellinger. “It’s cool. I mean, we’re in Philadelphia, we shouldn’t have that many fans at a game. They’ve been coming out and supporting us – it’s really cool.”
Muncy quickly followed Bellinger’s homer with a solo shot of his own.
“I think you see one person do it, then another person does it, and so now the whole team kind of buys into it,” said Muncy. “It’s just attitude, it’s the clubhouse culture we’ve created, and I think tonight really showed that.”
But the Dodgers weren’t done quite yet. In the eighth inning, Verdugo joined the party with a solo shot of his own.
The Dodgers will look to keep their momentum going in game 2 of the series. Walker Buehler will make his first start of the second half against Vince Velasquez. Buehler is 8-1 on the year with a 3.46 ERA and Velasquez is 2-5 with a 4.63 ERA. The game will begin at 4:05 pm.