Cody Bellinger Bombs: Chronicling Home Run Number 40

As part of a new series, 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? 

The Dodgers were never going to hit again. They were certainly never going to hit a home run again. Cody Bellinger started the season 0 for 10. The Dodgers lead the game 3-0, which seemed an insurmountable lead after dealing with the offense that the Dodgers had been serving up to viewers. But it wasn’t.

The Home Run

This was not a milestone homer yet in terms of being number 50 or 100, but it puts Bellinger on a nice round career number after ending the 2018 season at 40. A look at his career home run log is something that will never get old to me. It was his 20th home run at Dodger Stadium. It was his fourth to the left-center gap – a beautiful place for a lefty to leave the yard. The long ball was his 13th off a left-handed pitcher.

How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game

The Dodgers were at a 60% win probability according to Baseball-Reference.com in the bottom of the fourth when Bellinger stepped to the plate with a 3-0 lead. A little better than coin flip odds. After the blast, the Dodgers’ win probability improved to 66%. The +6% on a single play was the largest swing of any play in the game, meaning Bellinger’s home run put the game away on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. If you felt relaxed after, and that Easter Sunday had just been terrific; you had good reason to feel that way.

The Victim

Our victim laid to rest Sunday evening was Giants left-handed one-out guy who was trying to get more than just one out, Josh Osich. Mr. Osich has allowed 19 home runs in his career now, nine of which are to lefties. He’s paid to get them out and for the most part he does, holding them to a .207 lifetime average.

Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data and Angle

All the good stuff here. This was not a titanic blast in terms of distance, traveling an official 375 feet. It was not that type of home run. But with an exit velocity of 103 miles per hour, and an angle of 31 degrees at it’s apex; this was still an impressive home run by all standards. It came on a 95.5 mile per hour fastball from a left-handed pitcher. The pitch was away from Bellinger – and he did what good hitters do – he went with the pitch. I cannot emphasize enough what a beautiful piece of hitting that it was from Bellinger. It didn’t land deep in the stands, but rather bounced just beyond the glove of leaping Hunter Pence. When a left-handed hitter is going fundamentally well, he’s hitting the ball to this area of the park.

Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score

Cody Bellinger will hit longer home runs when the weather warms up that lead off Sportscenter. But in terms of importance and given that he was hitless to that point and the Dodgers had not homered in four games; it was an important home run in his career. The score takes into consideration the beauty of the hitting, importance in the game, pitcher faced, and all other factors on the home run.

Dodger’s Nation Prominence Score: 8.0

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