If anyone tells you Bellinger doesn’t deserve to be the MVP, they haven’t been watching baseball in 2019. A quick glance at the leaderboards explains why. Bellinger leads Major League Baseball in batting average, RBIs, runs scored, OBP, SLG, OPS, hits, and outfield assists.
In the first inning, Dodger starter, Clayton Kershaw was in a jam with runners at first and second and one out. The batter poked the ball softly into right field, for what looked like an inevitable base hit. But Bellinger made a perfect throw to Russell Martin and they teamed up to catch the runner.
In the third, Bellinger gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, launching a solo homer against reigning NL Cy Young winner Jacob Degrom.
But “the game-changing play,” as manager Dave Roberts calls it came in the 8th inning. The Dodgers were in serious trouble. Joe Kelly gave up a single, homer, then another single. Dylan Floro entered the game, but a forceout, error, and single loaded the bases with one out.
It was time to bring in Kenley Jansen for a 5-out save. What happened next was incredible. Mets’ hitter, D.J. Davis hit a fly ball to Bellinger. The runners at second and third tagged and advanced. But Bellinger gunned down Carlos Gómez at third. With some help from the umpires in New York, it was determined that Gómez was out at third before the run scored, canceling out the run.
“The mentality,” said Bellinger, “was to throw it as hard as I could.”
‘It was just an unbelievable throw,” said Mets manager Mickey Callaway. “You’re going to see that on highlights for the next 30 years. They’re going to be playing that over and over. It’s kind of like one of those throws Vlad made 20 years ago. It was just an unbelievable play.”
Lost in the excitement over Bellinger were homers by two struggling Dodgers. As part of a 6-run 6th inning, Taylor and Hernández homered. Taylor’s was a solo shot on a fastball that tied the game at 3. Hernández’s homer, a little later in the inning was good for 3 runs.
Rich Hill and Steven Matz will battle at 7:10 pm on Tuesday night. Hill has a 2.67 ERA and Matz has a 3.63 ERA.