Bellinger explains wild-throw error in Dodgers' loss to Giants

Cody Bellinger

Cody Bellinger has appeared in 258 career MLB games at first base, but the Dodgers star hadn't played there at all during the 2021 season until Tuesday night at Oracle Park against the Giants.

When the Dodgers needed a big play in the bottom of the eighth inning, Bellinger, who was playing first because of a hamstring injury the team was trying to protect, had the right idea, but was unable to execute and his mistake ultimately led to the Giants pulling out a wild 2-1 win over their rival.

With runners on first and second and no one out, Blake Treinen got Darin Ruf to tap a slow roller to second baseman Max Muncy, who first chased Mike Yastrzemski back to first before throwing to Bellinger on the bag to force out Ruf.

Bellinger then pump-faked to second, hoping to draw Buster Posey off third base. Posey came off the base and Bellinger attempted to throw behind him, but airmailed the ball over Justin Turner's head and into the protective netting, allowing the Giants catcher to score the go-ahead run.

"I pump-faked at second to try to get Posey off the base and when I looked, I saw him off the base enough that a good throw gets him," Bellinger told reporters after the game. "I absolutely just threw it, it just slipped out of my hands. There's no excuses. I just threw it too high."

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The safe play would have been to either throw to second base to try to get Yastrzemski or hold on to the ball. But Bellinger is convinced that if he had executed properly, the outcome would have been different.

"I think a good throw gets him still," Bellinger said. "I have to go back and watch it, but when I saw him turn, he had his momentum towards home, so I think a good throw -- JT was right there -- so I think a good throw gets him. Obviously, there's the safe play and letting Blake try to get out of that inning because he's got nasty stuff. So, I don't know."

Posey raced home as the Giants fans at Oracle went crazy, and closer Jake McGee shut the door on Bellinger and the Dodgers in the ninth to give San Francisco a three-game lead in the NL West.

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