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Sports Are Hard

This game-blowing Cody Bellinger throwing error deserves its own wing at Cooperstown

July 28, 2021

In baseball, there are throwing errors and then there are Throwing Errors. The first exist within the accepted boundaries of human fallibility. A little off line, pulling the first baseman off the bag to turn a second-inning groundout into a single. Big whoop. The second, however, are catastrophes, the baseball equivalents of tornadoes, picking up the entire game and spinning it in a blender until it is completely unrecognizable.

On Tuesday night, Cody Bellinger had a Throwing Error.

Where to even start? Bottom of the eighth inning, tie ballgame, runners on first and second. A check-swing chopper loops over pitcher Blake Treinen’s head and is fielded by Max Muncy who catches Mike Yastrzemski in a rundown. Unable to apply the tag, Muncy flicks it back to Bellinger who gets the out at first and then promptly loses his mind. He thinks about the easy throw back to second to complete the double play and end the inning, but for some reason—perhaps Yastrzemski is in the way of the throw—Bellinger double clutches and tries to go to third to throw out an advancing Buster Posey. It’s a bad split-second decision that keeps the inning alive with runners on second and third if the throw is on target. Bellinger sends it into the fourth row. Posey comes home to make it 2-1, and that’s how the game would finish.

Making matters even worse for the 2019 NL MVP, now owner of arguably the worst throw in the majors this season, the play came against the dreaded division rival Giants who have found all manner of heartbreaking ways (now including this) to beat the Dodgers of late. That's over-simplification of the anguish the Giants have inflicted on the Dodgers of late, but for the health and wellness of our Los Angeles readers, we'll just leave it at that.

If Bellinger makes the throw and the Dodgers find a way to get out of the inning, maybe they go on to win, closing the Giants’ NL West lead to just a single game. Instead he overnight FedEx air mails it and suddenly the Dodgers are three back. Tough break, but at least we got an iconic call out of it: “BELLINGER, SO HIGH!”

You don’t say ...