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Cody Bellinger’s meme production (1 indlæg)

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    Build a list of the enduring images of the National League Championship Series. At the top is probably a snapshot of Cody Bellinger, paused at home plate late Sunday evening in Game 7, watching his go-ahead home run take flight.
    The next three memories may well be, as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts put it Andre Ethier Jersey, “Mookie making web gems every single night.” In Game 5: Mookie Betts reaching down to snare a ball before it could hit the grass. In Game 6: Betts screaming with emotion after taking a run-scoring hit away from the Braves. In Game 7: Betts silhouetted against the right-field fence, his glove extended over it to rob Freddie Freeman of a homer, keeping the Dodgers within one and setting the stage for an epic comeback.
    With those three plays, Betts prevented at least three runs in the NLCS, and he gave the Dodgers some momentum in their 4-3, pennant-clinching win over the Braves in Game 7 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
    “This guy’s one of the best players in the game,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s so darned athletic with the things he can do.”
    In terms of the sheer athleticism required, it would be difficult to rank one of Betts’ catches over any of the others. A four-time Gold Glove Award winner who led all NL right fielders in defensive runs saved this season, Betts often makes freakish plays look ordinary. And yet his Game 7 catch was anything but routine, on a ball that would have been a homer in nine big league ballparks, according to Statcast.
    When Freeman hit Blake Treinen’s pitch Chris Taylor Jersey, Betts initially appeared to have trouble tracking the baseball as it flew 360 feet to right. But he eventually found it and sprinted toward the wall, timing his leap expertly to reel it in.
    “Another spark,” was how teammate Corey Seager described the moment. The effort evoked Betts’ run-saving catch in Game 6, when he leaped to rob Marcell Ozuna of a potential RBI double in a similar part of the park. Betts also turned a shoestring catch into a run-saving double play in Game 5, when Ozuna was doubled off after he broke for home plate early attempting to turn it into a sacrifice fly.
    Asked which was his favorite, Betts responded: “I think the home run robbery, because that was actually a home run. The other ones were going to stay in the park, but I think it’s more fun when they were going to go over the wall.”
    But Betts also gave points to his Game 6 grab, because it prevented the tying run from scoring. That one certainly elicited the most emotion from Betts, who screamed and strutted as he ran in from the warning track. There are no wrong answers here. Although Betts did not make any game-breaking offensive plays in the NLCS, batting .269 overall with four runs scored, a double, an RBI and a stolen base, he still proved one of Los Angeles’ most valuable players because of his glove.
    When asked a second time about his three catches Clayton Kershaw Dodgers Jersey, Betts — who led the Major Leagues in Baseball Reference’s version of WAR this season — paused for a moment before reiterating that the home run robbery was probably his favorite.
    Imagine having the option to choose. Most players, even elite defenders, dream of making one game-changing postseason catch in their careers. Betts made three in three days, and the Dodgers are heading to the World Series in large part because of it.
    “He’s just a crazy talent,” Snitker said. “I have the utmost respect for him.” Arlington’s Globe Life Field is a colossal construction. But because of a history of incomplete Octobers for the two franchises on the field Sunday night and the way this National League Championship Series had unfolded, the building could not contain the weight of what a World Series berth would have meant to the Dodgers or the Braves and their respective fan bases.
    So Game 7 had a theatrical tautness to it before the first pitch of the Dodgers’ dramatic 4-3 win was even thrown. But this turned out to be a game that will be memorable on its own merits, and L.A.’s advancement to its third World Series in four years after falling behind 3-1 in this best-of-seven series Corey Seager Jersey, as well as 2-0 and 3-2 in this specific game, required resolve. “This wasn’t an easy one,” said NLCS MVP Corey Seager, “and we’re glad to be on top.”
    To get there and earn a date with the American League champion Rays took a couple epic eight-pitch at-bats, a hero at the hot corner, a homer-stealing snag and a clutch kid coming out of the ‘pen.
    Before our attention turns completely to what figures to be an equally fascinating Fall Classic, let’s revisit the seven moments that made this Game 7 an instant classic.
    1) The Braves came out firing
    Dustin May wasn’t even officially announced as the Dodgers’ starter until around four hours before first pitch. Because he was on two days’ rest, it was a given that his outing would be brief.
    But May’s inability to find the strike zone (he became the first pitcher ever to walk the first two batters of a winner-take-all tilt) limited him to a single inning in which the Braves got on the board with Marcell Ozuna’s RBI single. Atlanta then added to its lead with Dansby Swanson’s solo shot off Tony Gonsolin in the second. 2) Someone finally scored off Ian Anderson
    It happened in the third. After Justin Turner walked Fernando Valenzuela Jersey, Max Muncy doubled to the right-field corner, and Ronald Acu?a Jr. made a great relay throw to keep Turner from scoring. But Will Smith’s ground ball single up the middle scored both runners to tie it at 2. Hitters this postseason had been 0-for-12 previously against Anderson with runners in scoring position. His run of 17 2/3 scoreless innings to begin his postseason career was the third longest in history for a starter, behind only Christy Mathewson (28 innings from 1905-11) and Joe Niekro (18 innings from 1980-81). Not a bad run for a 22-year-old kid with six career regular-season starts.
    “I learned I have what it takes to be up here and contribute to the team,” Anderson said. “I think everyone in that locker room learned something about themselves as the playoffs unfolded and as the season unfolded.” 3) A TOOTBLAN and Turner burned the Braves
    Atlanta regained the lead with Austin Riley’s RBI single in the fourth, but that’s not how Riley’s inning will be remembered.
    Swanson advanced to third and Riley to second on a Blake Treinen wild pitch. But when Nick Markakis grounded to third, Turner fielded it and threw home to get Swanson caught in a rundown that ended with Turner — aloft in the air and parallel to the ground, a la Superman — nicking Swanson with his glove for the first out. And with Riley aggressively trying to advance to third, Turner sagely and athletically leaped and fired to shortstop Corey Seager at third, where Riley was tagged out for the rare 5-2-5-6 double play that changed the course of the game. Not the way the Braves drew it up back in Summer Camp.
    “J.T.’s a baseball-savvy guy, man,” Seager said. “He sees the field so well. What he did right there in that moment was a lot of fun. It was really cool to be a part of.”
    4) Mookie did a Mookie thing
    Another night, another Betts-tacular defensive play.
    In Game 5 on Friday, Mookie Betts made a shoestring catch to spark a key double play. In Game 6 on Saturday, he robbed Ozuna of extra bases with a twisting, full-extension grab against the right-field wall. And in Game 7, after a moment when he appeared to have trouble tracking the ball, he perfectly timed up a Freddie Freeman fly for a home run robbery that prevented Atlanta from taking a 4-2 lead. The Dodgers swapped for and signed Betts to that big extension not just for the way he can change games with his bat but also for his glove. He’s already richly rewarded them: three games, three big runs saved. Which was Betts’ personal favorite?
    “The one [Saturday] was probably the most important,” he said. “We stopped some momentum there, for sure. But I think [Sunday's] is my favorite, since it was probably a home run.”
    So … what did you do with your weekend? 5) Kiké came through
    A brief history of pinch-hit home runs in winner-take-all games in the postseason:
    David Justice, Yankees, Game 5, 2001 ALDS
    Troy O’Leary, Cubs, Game 7, 2003 NLCS
    Chris Heisey, Nationals, Game 5, 2016 NLDS
    That’s it. That’s the list.
    You can add Kiké Hernández to it, after he replaced Joc Pederson and led off the bottom of the sixth against the left-hander A.J. Minter with a game-tying solo shot that capped an intense eight-pitch at-bat. Minter’s three scoreless innings to open Game 5 had been a highlight of this entertaining NLCS, but Hernández was ready for him. And as was the case when he had a three-homer night in the Dodgers’ 2017 NLCS clincher at Wrigley Field, Hernández delivered. “The stakes, I kinda like it,” Hernández said. “It feels cool, it feels good. This is what you dream of as a kid. You don’t just dream of being a big leaguer, you dream about Game 7.”
    6) And Bellinger broke through
    Cody Bellinger’s meme production had been outpacing Bellinger’s run production. He was a fairly quiet 4-for-23 with a homer in the first six games of this series, yet he was a consistent presence on Twitter as folks had some fun with his contemplative countenance.

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