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Dodgers NLCS: Bellinger’s Hit Was Huge But the Bullpen Saved the Day



Years from now, Dodgers fans will look back fondly at Game 3 of this series and remember Cody Bellinger’s big homerun. And they should. After a rough 2021 season, Bellinger came up big in the 8th inning when it mattered the most. 

But there were so many other big parts of that game that shouldn’t go unrecognized. The efforts from the bullpen to keep the Dodgers within striking distance were huge, and those relievers truly were the unsung heroes of the night. 

Dodgers manager Dave ROberts made sure to give them their credit after the game. While Cody’s hit was huge, Los Angeles doesn’t win that game without their relievers. 

Everyone will talk about Cody’s hit, but without Alex getting us out of that jam, without what Justin and Evan did, then we don’t have a game. There’s no hero at the end of the game.

After Walker Buehler got roughed up for 4 runs in 3.2 innings of work, the bullpen came on in a  tough spot. Alex Vesia came into the game in the 4th inning with the bases loaded to face Freddie Freeman. He got him to line out sharply to left and the inning was over. 

Those relievers came in and they won us that ballgame. We were able to stay away from using Blake and Brusdar so they can be fresh tomorrow. Those are two big leverage guys out of the bullpen. So they not only helped us win this game, they helped us win tomorrow’s game as well.

After Corey Knebel allowed a run after Vesia, 6 Dodgers relievers came in to hold Atlanta scoreless over the final 3 innings. Kenely shut the door by striking out the side in the 9th and securing their first win of the series. 

Dodgers Related: LA Was Dead in the Water Before Cody’s Blast

But without those guys, there is no big moment for Cody Bellinger. There is no 3-run shot to tie the game and there is no Mookie hit to take the lead in that same inning. What a team win. We love LA. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Only the best bullpen in baseball! Can’t say enough about the job those guys have done! The NLCS MVP should be awarded to the entire pen!

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