Cody Bellinger sets a Dodgers record with a postseason home run

The Dodgers first baseman, who established a National League rookie record with 39 home runs during the regular season, is now the youngest player in franchise history to homer in a playoff game.

Add another record to Cody Bellinger’s list.

The Dodgers first baseman, who established a National League rookie record with 39 home runs during the regular season, is now the youngest player in franchise history to homer in a playoff game.

The left-handed-hitting slugger, age 22 years 88 days, hit an opposite-field home run in the fifth inning of the Dodgers’ 3-1 series-clinching victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.

Corey Seager had established the record, at 22 years 163 days, when he homered last October.


Before Bellinger’s homer, he was two for 12 in his first playoffs, with six strikeouts.

Got your number

No Diamondbacks player should have been happier than Paul Goldschmidt when Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was replaced in the sixth inning.

Goldschmidt has eight career at-bats against Darvish, and has seven strikeouts and a flyout to show for it.

Good timing

In his major league career, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes had started 23 games against a right-handed pitcher.


Monday was No. 24, and Barnes made the most of it with a home run leading off the sixth inning that knocked starter Zack Greinke from the game and pushed the Dodgers’ lead to two runs.

Manager Dave Roberts opted to start Barnes in Game 3 for his plate discipline over the power potential offered by Yasmani Grandal.

Instead, he got both.

“With Austin, it’s just more of, I’ve liked the at-bat quality,” Roberts said. “Just to be able to get a hit, spoil pitches, and with Zack who obviously is a tactician on the mound. I think that Austin has a great way of being selective, grinding at-bats.”

Barnes, 27, accrued brief stints in the majors over the two previous seasons, but 2017 brought his first extended chance. He batted .289 with a .408 on-base percentage and .486 slugging percentage in 262 plate appearances.

The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3-1 in Game 3 of the National League division series on Monday to advance to the National League Championship Series.

Only eight players in the majors had on-base and slugging marks as good as Barnes.

Barnes also started in Game 2 of this series, against left-hander Robbie Ray, and reached base three times in four opportunities.


Saved for a pinch

Andre Ethier has played 76 regular-season games at Chase Field and has a .303/.360/.494 slash line with six homers and 28 doubles.

But history was not enough to get him into the Dodgers lineup Monday. Curtis Granderson started in left field and Roberts suggested he would not give up on Granderson despite a strikeout-prone tenure as a Dodger.

Granderson, who had a crucial pinch-hit in Game 2, flied to left field and struck out in his only two at-bats. He was one for eight with four strikeouts in the series.

He was lifted for Enrique Hernandez in the sixth inning, when Arizona replaced Greinke with left-hander Jorge De La Rosa. Hernandez doubled.

The organization continues to view Ethier as a weapon off the bench. He sat out the first five months of the season because of a herniated disk. His value as a reserve outweighed his success at Chase Field.

“There is something to the history, but there’s also something to winning this one game,” Roberts said. “This alignment gives us the best chance.”

Mighty Maeda

Kenta Maeda has been a starting pitcher, but his work in relief against the Diamondbacks has been impressive.

Maeda was the winning pitcher in Game 2, retiring all three batters he faced, two by strikeouts.


On Monday, he was summoned for the eighth inning, setting up closer Kenley Jansen. And he delivered again.

With Jansen and Tony Watson warming behind him in the bullpen, Maeda struck out A.J. Pollock, got Daniel Descalso on a ground ball to third baseman Justin Turner and struck out pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta with a fastball down the middle.

Mike Hiserman, reporting from Los Angeles, contributed to this report.

Follow Andy McCullough on Twitter @McCulloughTimes

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