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).
Was this the biggest swing of Cody Bellinger’s 2018 season? I believe so. Bellinger literally took a game headed for the loss column, breathed new life into the Dodgers with his power, and helped put a crucial game in the win column.
This was Bellinger’s 19th home run of the season. In this case recently – his body language seems to present a player that has seen his swagger return a little bit. This confidence or groove he’s found should breed more home runs (and more of these posts in the near future).
Let’s take a deeper dive and look at the 58th home run of Cody Bellinger’s young career, a titanic blast at Coors Field.
The Home Run
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 10, 2018
Bellinger’s second career Coors Field home run was his 30th in a road park. The key here is that it came in Bellinger’s magical inning. When this guy comes up in the eighth inning of a ballgame, look out. This was the 16th time that the Dodgers’ young slugger has homered in that inning – with seven of them coming this year.
It is the 41st time he’s homered off right-handed pitching, and 44th as a first baseman. His 16th home run to right-center field was his 58th in his career. Equally important, Bellinger is now in sole possession of 55th place on the Dodgers’ all-time home run list. The next home run will tie him with Franklin Stubbs – a guy I owned too many five cent Topps cards of when I was a kid.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
In brief, this was such a big home run – and it ended up resulting in one of Los Angeles’ most prominent victories of the season. The Dodgers were left for dead with two outs in the 8th inning. Matt Kemp was at the plate with a 2-2 count, and he managed to lace a double to the wall in the midst of a slump. This gave Bellinger the opportunity to step to the plate with the Dodgers at a win expectancy of 11 percent.
Immediately after the home run, the Dodgers moved to 41 percent win expectancy; a swing of 30 percent. This is by far and away the largest impact a Bellinger home run has had in 2018. Indeed, the boys in blue would steal the game by an 8-5 score the very next inning. None of this would be possible without Bellinger depositing the pearl into the bullpen in right center.
Seunghwan Oh is one of the better relievers that Bellinger has homered off of in 2018. The South Korean hurler has seen a fall from grace from 2016 when he was one of the most dominant closers in baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. Still, Oh has been a formidable arm for the Toronto Blue Jays this season; and the two runs that scored on this blast were the first two he has allowed as a Colorado Rockie.
He’s had a nice big league career that began in 2016. In 193.2 innings he’s fanned 217 batters. This was the 21st home run he’s allowed in his career. Oh is 11-12 with 42 career saves and a career ERA of 2.79. He still has the stuff to get big league hitters out late in games. Bellinger simply caught a high-octane pitch at altitude in his hot zone and Oh would never live to tell about it.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
91.1mph Four-seam Fastball
RHP Seunghwan Oh (6)
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) August 10, 2018
In this case, the pitch was a 91 mile per hour four-seam fastball down the middle of the plate. Obviously there was never a doubt when it left the bat – it was a true beauty. This rocket had a launch angle of 26 degrees at it’s highest point; which seems a bit deceiving if you watch the replay. Thereafter, the ball traveled 439 feet, making it a true tape-measure shot.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
This was one of the big ones – both over the course of Cody’s career and especially in this 2018 season. Furthermore, if the Dodgers end up winning the division by a game or playing in the Wild Card game, I think that people should remember this high-leverage home run. The Dodgers were headed almost certainly for a series-opening loss in Colorado.
Moreover, Bellinger is beginning to show signs of the dominant player he was as a rookie. And again, he’s swinging with more authority in every at bat. This should lead to a big finish with a flurry of long-balls. These posts are a lot of fun to write as he continues to move up the all-time list quickly as a young player.
Hence, we give this an appropriate score just short of a perfect ten.
Dodgers Nation Prominence HR Score: 9.5
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