The biggest dud for the Dodgers this season has been the huge regression of star center fielder Cody Bellinger. Obviously, his downward trend started during the shortened 2020 season and could be attributed to the injuries he suffered along the way. Overall, he had been a liability this season at the plate, at least until this postseason.
So far this postseason, Bellinger is batting .294 with 3 RBI and 3 stolen bases in the 6 games the Dodgers have played. What’s more, is that Bellinger has come up big for the team with 3 game-winning hits in winner take all games throughout his career in the playoffs.
“You don’t think about being that guy. Just when the opportunity is there and the moment is there you just try to stay simple and stay within yourself. You’re just extremely blessed to be able to be in the moment. Just stay within myself and just try and get the job done.”
Cody Bellinger's RBI single was his 3rd career go-ahead hit in the 9th inning or later of a postseason game.
That ties Carlos Correa, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew and Pete Rose for most in MLB history. pic.twitter.com/EwHhcNGgvm
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 15, 2021
His latest moment came in last during game 5 of the NLDS. After Turner was hit by a pitch and Gavin Lux singled to put men on first and second, Cody Bellinger stepped up to the plate looking to make an impact anyway he could. After seeing three consecutive sliders from Camilo Doval, Belli was not fooled when he threw a 4th one. He sent it back up the middle beating the shift and driving in the eventual winning run. He didn’t have to swing for the fence like many would, all he had to do was kept simple and choke up on his bat, something he hasn’t always done.
“Haven’t really worked on it, just knew that those guys threw hard and just staying simple staying within myself and my approach. I don’t practice it but I think in the moment you know things just happen and it makes sense.”
After a disappointing 2021 season, Bellinger may have just made up for it all with that swing. He still isn’t producing anywhere close to his 2019 MVP self, but as long as he can show up when it counts, the Dodgers would surely take it.