Dodgers Nation will be writing about ‘Bellinger Bombs’. The Dodgers have one of the best young power hitters in the game under contract for the foreseeable future. Writers like Sam Miller have asked the question ‘What if Cody Bellinger is going to break the all-time home run record’. As the career home runs continue to pile up, we will examine each one in greater detail. We will allow you; the fan, to savor each one as they should be. Because what’s more fun than a home run? (You can look back at the collection here).
Cody Bellinger’s 2018 season has seemed parts ‘right on the cusp’ and so very far away. Like a tepid relationship with a wave of emotions – many nights a fan is left wondering where they stand with 2018 Bellinger. What’s more, I am willing to concede that Bellinger is a lot better player than he’s shown this season. We know he’s capable of carrying an offense for weeks at a time. At his best, he’s already one of the most feared power bats in the National league. That’s why we do these posts.
When the stars aligned for career home run 46 on Saturday night, it had been a long day of baseball. For Cody Bellinger, the day may have been the longest. He had came to the plate seven times in the twin bill – striking out in four of them. Alas, with all great power hitters; lightning can strike so fast.
Before they knew what happened, the Washington Nationals were in a world of trouble. Without Bellinger’s big swing, the Dodgers rally may never have taken place.
The Home Run
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 20, 2018
In the 8th inning with one out, the Nationals had the match-up they wanted. Luckily for the Dodgers, Max Scherzer had been removed from the game. Bellinger caught a two two-strike fastball off the Nationals’ lefty specialist. The next thing you saw was the ball slamming off the back of the bullpen wall in center. For the first time, we see Bellinger with high-socks rounding the bases.
The tally shows us that this was Bellinger’s second career homer in Washington at Nationals Park. It was his fifth career to dead center, and second within the week. This was the 14th off a southpaw, always nice to see. Bellinger has homered 23 times on the road, equal to the 23 he’s hit in the regular season at Dodger Stadium. Subsequently, it was his 11th he’s hit in the 8th inning. That total equals the most he’s hit during any inning during his career.
If Bellinger never hits another home run – he’s 63rd on the all-time Dodgers home run list. Next up for Cody to run down are the likes of Tim Wallach and Kal Daniels.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
When Bellinger hit this home run, it felt like the nightcap was going to be taken by the Nationals. Scherzer spent the better part of your Saturday evening striking out Dodgers hitters, to the tune of 13 total. The Nationals were preparing to send Sean Doolittle into the game, and hopes felt dead. Washington’s win expectancy sat at 90 percent. In the baseball world, you’re almost without a pulse and on life-support.
Bellinger homered and swung the game ten percent, from 90 percent to 80 percent. The outcome still felt largely decided, but the Nationals were wounded by this blast. Despite a wasted rally later in the inning, the lead had been cut in half. In the ninth, the game slowed down enough for the Dodgers to not only tie the game; but win it altogether.
You will remember the Matt Kemp double that gave the Dodgers the lead. We’re here to tell you that Bellinger got the rally going in a game that felt headed for the loss column.
What can we tell you about our latest Bellinger victim, Sammy Solis? The four year veteran is your classic ‘LOOGY’ (lefty-one-out-guy). Spending his entire career in Washington, he’s allowed left-handed hitters just a .236 average and .622 OPS. This tells us that Solis is pretty effective at his job. What’s more – this was just the second time in 165 at bats that Solis allowed a home run to a left-handed hitter.
Solis owns a career ERA of 3.80 and a 5-6 record. He was given credit for the hold in this appearance, further showing why the stat may need some remedy. The most important out that he was put in the game to get ended up a souvenir.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
95.5mph Two-seam Fastball
LHP Sammy Solis (1)
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) May 20, 2018
What an impressive home run this really was for Bellinger. Like most Bellinger Bombs, it traveled over 400 feet, checking in at 409 on the official measure. The pitch was a 95.5 MPH letter-high fastball, a pitch that Washington spent the day beating Bellinger with.
The exit velocity which is so coveted in today’s game was 108 miles per hour. You don’t need me to tell you the ball was hit really high if you watch the replay through a few times. That gives us the launch angle of 32 degrees. This was a clutch homer, and it was no cheapie. It landed in a spot in the ballpark which you typically see reached only in video games, smacking off the back of the bullpen wall in center.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
A paid attendance of 32,378 felt the dread creep in when Bellinger connected. There was no doubt in their minds that the park wasn’t going to hold this one. While we are still waiting on that 2018 game-winner from Bellinger, this was an important home run.
He’s closer to that mini-milestone number of ’50’, but this one gets a nice score due to what it did for the team in sparking a rally. Because it’s no small order that Bellinger was able to beat a left-handed pitcher in the middle of a really tough day. Moreover, without this home run, I don’t believe the Dodgers sweep the double-header against the Nationals. Indeed, if Cody keeps hitting them before Saturday Night Live airs, we may have to start saying ‘Saturdays Are For Bellinger Bombs’.
Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 8.5
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