Cody Bellinger tried to do too much Saturday night — too, too much.
Bellinger, the Dodgers’ young, power-hitting first baseman, attempted to beat an infield shift with a bunt against the Reds’ Jared Hughes. The idea was fine in theory, but the timing was . . . suboptimal, to put it mildly:
POWER RANKINGS: Dodgers down after first month-plus
1. Bellinger, who had homered earlier the game, bunted with one out and no one on in the bottom of the ninth inning, and with his team trailing by two runs.
2. Worse, he bunted on a 3-0 count.
The bunt went right back to Hughes, who threw him out.
“Tried to get the tying run (Chris Taylor) to the plate there (but) just didn’t execute,” Bellinger told reporters postgame. He said he had the take sign, but he also anticipated getting a fastball that he could push down the third-base line.
“Just bad luck, and if I could do it again I wouldn’t,” he added. (Video below via NBC LA.)
— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) May 13, 2018
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who averted his eyes in disgust after the bunt and did not look at Bellinger as he returned to the dugout, was in no mood to defend the play or the player afterward.
Dave Roberts on why Bellinger bunted 3 and 0: “I don’t know.” Said Bellinger has the take sign.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 13, 2018
Roberts benched Bellinger last month for failing to hustle; this latest fail, combined with Bellinger’s lagging season stats (five home runs, .795 OPS) and the Dodgers’ overall struggles (they’re 16-23 after losing 5-3 Saturday), won’t improve the player-manager relationship.