Before we get into Cody Bellinger’s outfield heroics in during the early extra innings of World Series Game 3, which were impressive, we should first acknowledge that just a half inning prior to showing off his capacity to nail a throw home he mucked things up by getting thrown out on the base paths.
Attempting this steal in the bottom of he ninth meant that instead of the Dodgers having the bases loaded with one out after the two consecutive walks that would follow, that had runners on first and second with two outs in a 1-1 game. Brian Dozier would foul out to the catcher to end the inning.
Respect for running that TOOTBLAN out though. If you’re going to get picked off anyway it’s only fair that the fans get the entertainment of you darting back and forth, attempting to scramble out of the way of the eventual and unavoidable tag. Bellinger fulfilled his duties ably on that front.
In the top of the 10th, with the game tied, the Red Sox had runners on first and third with one out. Ian Kinsler was on third. He almost didn’t make it there, nearly being thrown out by overshooting the base. As he does. Watching Ian Kinsler run the bases is always an exercise in deep breathing and watching through your fingers but this, but this instance of pinch running was like riding a rollercoaster that kept separating from the track but somehow reconnecting before it went completely off the rails.
Then the rollercoaster crashed on the way home, with a big assist from Cody Bellinger’s arm. Eduardo Nuñez came to the plate and hit a fly to center field. It was a deep enough out that the Red Sox were always going to send Ian Kinsler. They can’t really be blamed for trying in this situation.
Unfortunately for Boston and everyone trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, but fortunately for the Dodgers, Bellinger then did this.
Cody Bellinger are you SERIOUS!?— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 27, 2018
He throws out the go-ahead run at home in the 10th!!
Game stays tied! pic.twitter.com/wraKwN8Bx9
This is just ... a great throw. Every component is both by the book and impeccably performed. From the quick few steps in the outfield to the absolute cannon of an arm on the throw to the aim, the pieces fit together flawlessly to make one heck of a finished puzzle.
It’s easy to watch in awe at Bellinger’s arm, as it is indeed impressive. But the placement of the throw might be the actual best part. Thankfully it was Austin Barnes behind the plate by that point in the game rather than Yasmani Grandal, because one of them can’t throw and one of them can’t catch and this was the correct configuration for what needed to happen.
Bellinger not only nails Barnes exactly where he stood, Barnes was in the right location to not even have to reach backwards or turn to make the tag, and they had Kinsler dead to rights a car length from home plate. Maybe Kinsler could have gotten weird and tried to dive or dip or something, but this was never going to end well for him.
I can’t describe Kinsler’s base running better than this so I shall not try.
A Final Destination movie, but it's all about Ian Kinsler's trip around the base paths that inning.— Philip Michaels (@PhilipMichaels) October 27, 2018
Death came for him. He avoided the plane crash, the radio accidentally falling into the tub, and the runaway train. But he finally got got by a Cody Bellinger throw that was targeted more accurately than an Olympic diver from 10 meters up. It helps that this whole sequence was incredibly aesthetically pleasing at well.
See for yourself with this gif.
Cody Bellinger’s left arm bails the Dodgers out. pic.twitter.com/l2k96kUD3l— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) October 27, 2018
Really nice to watch. No matter who you were rooting for in the game. Because even if you were cheering for the Red Sox you had to appreciate how good a play it was and how there was really never a chance it would go any other way after it left Bellinger’s hand. That’s a World Series play, too bad it didn’t happen in a winning effort.