Phillies

World Series: Bellinger wakes up Dodgers, who tie Series at 2 games apiece

ap-cody-bellinger-world-series-game-4.jpg
AP Images

World Series: Bellinger wakes up Dodgers, who tie Series at 2 games apiece

HOUSTON — Cody Bellinger pulled into second base with his first World Series hit and said: "It's a miracle!"

With the Dodgers three innings from falling into a deep deficit, the rookie slugger sparked a late comeback that stopped the Houston Astros' surge.

Hitless in 13 at-bats, Bellinger doubled and scored the tying run in the seventh inning, then doubled home the go-ahead run off struggling closer Ken Giles in a five-run ninth that lifted Los Angeles to a 6-2 win Saturday night and tied the Series at two games apiece.

George Springer put the Astros ahead with a two-out homer in the sixth, the first hit off Los Angeles starter Alex Wood. The crowd at Minute Maid Park, where the Astros had been 7-0 this postseason, was revved up in anticipation of the Astros having a chance to win the first title in their 56-season history on Sunday.

Instead, the Series will go back to Los Angeles no matter what. Clayton Kershaw starts Game 5 for the Dodgers on Sunday night and Dallas Keuchel for the Astros in a rematch of the opener, when Kershaw pitched Los Angeles to a 3-1 win.

Bellinger, a 22-year-old bopper who set a National League rookie record with 39 home runs this season, struck out four times in Game 3 and once more in the fifth inning -- his eighth whiff of the Series.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed faith Friday night in Bellinger and again Saturday afternoon.

Bellinger doubled over left fielder Marwin Gonzalez, chasing starter Charlie Morton, and came home on Logan Forsythe's two-out single off Will Harris.

Giles entered to start the ninth and got into immediate trouble, allowing a leadoff single to Corey Seager and a walk to Justin Turner. Bellinger took a low slider, then lined a fastball at the letters to left-center. He raised a hand rounding first and clapped his hands half a dozen times in excitement after sliding into second.

Joe Musgrove relieved and allowed Austin Barnes' sacrifice fly and Joc Pederson's three-run homer, his second home run of the Series.

Wood, Brandon Morrow, winner Tony Watson and Kenley Jansen combined on a two-hitter. Jansen allowed Alex Bregman's two-out homer in the ninth, the 14th home run of the Series.

Giles, the loser, was charged with three runs -- he has allowed runs in six of seven postseason appearances.

What's next for Phillies — could it be lefty Andrew Miller? — as winter meetings end

usa_mccutchen_miller_segura_phillies.jpg
USA Today Images

What's next for Phillies — could it be lefty Andrew Miller? — as winter meetings end

LAS VEGAS — Three days of winter meetings frenzy ended with the Rule 5 draft and a massive exodus of what seemed like the entire baseball industry to the airport on Thursday.

The glitzy focal point of the offseason is now over but the wheeling and dealing is far from complete.

Let's look at where the Phillies stand as they head home from the winter meetings:

WHAT THEY'VE DONE

• Improved offensively and defensively at shortstop with the addition of Jean Segura in a trade with Seattle. In the same deal, they offloaded Carlos Santana to open first base for Rhys Hoskins and added two relievers, lefty James Pazos and righty Juan Nicasio.

• Signed outfielder Andrew McCutchen to a three-year, $50 million deal. He projects to play a corner spot. At 32, he is not the budding superstar that he was in his prime, but he's still a good, productive player and a definite upgrade. McCutchen should give the Phils 30-plus doubles, 20-plus homers and a high on-base percentage. He is also durable and plays with a passion that Philadelphia fans should like.

WHAT THEY FAILED TO DO

• Stopped at five years and watched lefty Patrick Corbin, the top free-agent starting pitcher, sign a six-year deal with division rival Washington.

• Did not sign lefty J.A. Happ. The Phillies would have had to go three years to get him away from the Yankees, who are a legitimate World Series contender, and they did not want to do that for a 36-year-old pitcher who is viewed as only a modest upgrade on what they have.

WHAT THEY STILL MUST DO

• The biggest Phillies storyline of the winter is also the industry's biggest storyline. Will the Phillies land one of the two megastars on the free-agent market? They met with the agents for both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper at the winter meetings and are expected to host Machado in Philadelphia for a recruiting visit next week. The Machado and Harper camps are in a staredown to see who can land the biggest free-agent deal ever — more than $300 million.

The Phillies have the revenues to land one of these guys. They seem to favor Machado at this point because, in addition to having huge offensive impact, he would have huge defensive impact at third base, more than Harper would in right field. The Phils face big competition for Machado. He has long wanted to be a Yankee and they are interested him. The Yanks could even offer Machado the chance to play shortstop, at least initially, as Didi Gregorius recovers from elbow surgery. Though they seem to favor Machado, the Phils remain engaged with Harper and pursuit of him could intensify if they don't get Machado. And if the Phils don't get Machado to play third base, they could trade Maikel Franco and make a play for free agent Mike Moustakas.

• Improve the pitching. We use the broad term "pitching" because the Phils could do this in a variety of ways. They could make a play for a starter such as Arizona’s Robbie Ray or they could land a free-agent reliever like Andrew Miller. There were indications on Wednesday night and again on Thursday that the Phillies had become increasingly aggressive in their pursuit of Miller. One of the Phils’ offseason goals was to add a high-profile lefty to the bullpen and Miller, who can close or get high-leverage outs at other points late in the game, certainly fits that bill. The Phils have also had interest in lefty reliever Zach Britton, but Miller now appears to be the focus. He’d be an excellent pickup.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Former Phillie Carlos Santana traded for second time in 10 days

Former Phillie Carlos Santana traded for second time in 10 days

Carlos Santana is already on the move again.

Santana was traded to Seattle with J.P. Crawford 10 days ago for Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio and James Pazos. On Thursday, at the conclusion of the winter meetings in Las Vegas, Santana was dealt from the Mariners to the Indians in exchange for Edwin Encarnacion and a compensatory Round B draft pick.

Santana returns to Cleveland, where he spent his first eight seasons before signing with the Phillies. Santana has two years and $35 million remaining on the three-year, $60 million contract he received from the Phillies last offseason.

So far this offseason, the Phillies have swapped out Santana and Crawford for Andrew McCutchen and Segura. Those moves alone project to add three to five wins to the 2019 Phillies' total, though keep in mind they overachieved and outperformed their run expectancy to reach 80 victories this past season. 

While Segura is very good and McCutchen is still a solid player at 32, the Phillies still need to add at least one high-end piece to realistically push for 90-plus wins this season. 

One thing looks clear, though: If the Phillies want to add a high-end starting pitcher, it has to come through the trade market. With J.A. Happ headed back to the Yankees, six of the top seven starting pitchers in this year's free-agent class are off the board. Dallas Keuchel is the lone exception.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies