Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wants answers.
With his team down two runs, Cody Bellinger, one of baseball's best young sluggers, bunted on a 3-0 count with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The move backfired, prompting the young first baseman, who homered earlier in the game, to explain.
"I was trying to get the tying run to the plate there. Just didn't execute," Bellinger told Bill Plunkett of the Los Angeles Daily News. "I mean, I had the take sign. Knew the fastball was coming. I've done it so many times before I thought it was going to be an easy bunt."
"It’s one of those where if you get it down, it’s a great play. If you don’t, it’s a bad play,” Bellinger said. “If I could do it again, I wouldn’t. At the time, I thought it was a good idea."
On top of the bad optics, Roberts, who said he was surprised of Bellinger's decision to bunt in that situation, revealed prior to the game that the Dodgers wouldn't rely on small ball to get out of their current funk.
"You have to look at who you have and manage accordingly," Roberts said, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "When we are walking and slugging, that's the profile of our players and that's what we do. To ask our guys to hit-and-run, they're not guys that handle the bat to hit-and-run, outside of Chase Utley, and to ask left-handed hitters to hit the ball the other way and not advance to third base, doesn't make sense.
" ... And then you have to take the combination of a swing and miss, now you're exposing a baserunner. To bunt, we don't have guys that typically bunt. And can the guy advance with his foot speed. For me to change the way I manage our guys, that, for me, is a flawed thought process."
With Saturday's loss, The Dodgers - a team that came one win shy of a World Series in November - have now dropped three straight games, and six of their last seven. Bellinger, Roberts, and Co. will look to avoid the sweep at the hands of the lowly Reds on Sunday.