One player pushed me to Chavez Ravine for the middle encounter between San Francisco and the Dodgers this past weekend and that was Cody Bellinger.
Having watched this extraordinary young talent on television, I wanted a chance to witness him in person.
In Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 win over the Giants in front of 47,792, Bellinger, who has the second-most homers in the National League with 28, drove in both runs after Corey Seager, last year’s Rookie of the Year, doubled each time.
The scoring began in the first inning against Ty Blach (6-7) as Seager laced a one-out, two-base hit to right field.
Having watched this extraordinary young talent on television,
I wanted a chance to witness him in person.
After Justin Turner, the NL’s leading hitter at .356, drew a walk, Bellinger, who should be voted Rookie of the Year and receive some support for Most Valuable Player, singled to right center.
Two innings later, the lead expanded to 2-0 after Seager (three hits) led off with a double to right.
Turner lined out to center fielder Denard Span which advanced Seager to third base.
Up stepped Bellinger, the left-handed hitting, first-time All-Star, who bounced a single into right field.
“It’s been crazy how well we’ve been playing these past couple months,’’ said Bellinger, the 22-year-old, first baseman/outfielder, who is hitting .266 with 69 runs batted in, 56 runs, 16 doubles and two triples. “It’s been pretty special. Hopefully we can keep it going.’’
Rich Hill, who has suffered with blisters on a finger of his left [throwing]hand, delivered five and two-third innings.
Hill (8-4) surrendered two hits and one run with three strikeouts and two walks. Hill’s lone mistake came in the fourth inning when Hunter Pence sent a two-out curveball over the left field wall.
Hill retired the side in order during the first, second and third innings and also collected the first two outs before Pence’s homer, but Buster Posey popped up to Seager, the shortstop.
In the fifth inning, Hill allowed a two-out double to Gorkys Hernandez, which was misplayed by Chris Taylor in left field for an error as Hernandez bolted to third. After intentionally walking Kelby Tomlinson, Hill fanned Blach.
With two out in the sixth, Pedro Baez faced Pence, who flied out to Taylor. Baez later worked a perfect seventh.
Josh Fields retired Hernandez, Luis Avilan retired pinch hitter Conor Gillaspie, pinch hitter Carlos Moncrief walked and Span lined to Bellinger at first base in the eighth.
Kenley Jansen collected his 27th save after yielding an infield single to Miguel Gomez, but induced Pence to bounce into a double play.
Posey walked and Brandon Crawford singled, but Jae-Gyun Hwang whiffed.
Rick Assad has written about sports for the Pasadena Star-News and Los Angeles Times. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.