Fueled by Cody Bellinger, Dodgers-Padres brings down (empty) house

2:50 AM ET

Jeff PassanESPN

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ESPN MLB insider
Author of “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports”

ARLINGTON, Texas — They played this year, amid the fear and the death and the anguish and discomfort, so they could have a night like this. The baseball game staged here Wednesday night was so good, so gripping and invigorating and fascinating and full of tension — full of life — that at times it almost didn’t seem eerie that it was taking place in near silence.

Pandemic baseball was fully realized in Game 2 of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The game included a future Hall of Fame pitcher starting in his hometown for the first time in nearly 400 career appearances, a home run punctuated by a one-handed bat chuck, a reigning MVP hitting one homer and then dramatically robbing another, a pitcher reacting to the robbery by joyfully flinging his glove and hat, the bat-chucker responding to that with a barrage of F-bombs, the glove-flinger responding to the response with a wave and blown kiss, all of it being rendered

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