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Cody Bellinger picked the worst time to slump for the Dodgers

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Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger‘s struggles continued on Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series, as the presumptive National League Rookie of the Year Award winner went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He’s now 0-for-11 with seven strikeouts in the World Series.

Most of Bellinger’s at-bats weren’t even competitive. He went down on two called strikes and a swinging strike three — all curve balls from Lance McCullers — in the second inning. In the fourth, he took a first-pitch fastball, a curve for a ball, fouled off a curve, then struck out swinging on a curve. In the sixth, he swung and missed at a curve, fouled off a curve, then whiffed again on a curve for another three-pitch strikeout against McCullers. At least in the eighth, he saw more than a smattering of pitches, ultimately whiffing on the eighth consecutive fastball he saw from reliever Brad Peacock.

Bellinger strikes out a lot. It’s part of the give-and-take with being a power hitter. His 26.6 percent strikeout rate was 16th highest among qualified hitters during the regular season. He was the leadoff batter in an inning three times in Game 2 and twice more in Game 3. Working a walk, putting the ball in play — heck, even just working a deep count more than once in 11 plate appearances would be beneficial, even if it means shortening his swing a bit. Both the approach and the results have been horrendous thus far.

Bellinger didn’t set the world on fire in the NLDS or NLCS, but he was still productive, batting an aggregate .278/.316/.500 with a pair of doubles and a pair of home runs with two walks and 12 strikeouts in 38 plate appearances. That’s a bit below what he produced in the regular season — he slashed .267/.352/.581 — but the Dodgers would happily take that version of Bellinger over the one they’ve seen thus far.

The Astros lead the World Series two games to one with two more home games remaining. If the Dodgers want to send this series back to Los Angeles, Bellinger needs to wake up.

Report: Red Sox to sign Zack Godley

Red Sox sign Zack Godley
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Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports that the Red Sox are nearing an agreement with pitcher Zack Godley. It is still unclear whether the contract will be of the minor or major league variety.

Godley, 30, was with the Tigers on a minor league contract but the club released him in early April. The right-hander pitched for the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays last season, amassing 92 innings with a 5.97 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio. Godley was quite solid for the D-Backs in 2017, posting a 3.37 ERA over 155 innings, so the Red Sox are hoping to see that version of him.

The Red Sox need starting pitching depth with Chris Sale out for the year due to Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodríguez sidelined because of a positive COVID-19 test. Collin McHugh is also still on the mend from an elbow injury. The starting rotation at the moment includes Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez, Ryan Weber, and Brian Johnson. It is certainly the club’s biggest weakness.

The Red Sox open up the 2020 regular season at home against the Orioles on July 24. Eovaldi would seem to be the one to get the Opening Day nod. Godley could slot in anywhere else in the rotation, from No. 2 to 5.