Dodgers: Cody Bellinger Puts Together Historic Night Against the Padres

The Dodgers and Padres have played together in the National League West for nearly 54 years, ever since the Padres came into the league in 1969. In those 54 years, a lot of sluggers have rolled through Los Angeles.

They’ve gotten 30-homer seasons from 18 different players: Jim Wynn, Dusty Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Reggie Smith, Pedro Guerrero, Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Todd Zeile, Gary Sheffield, Shawn Green, Adrian Beltre, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, and Cody Bellinger.

But on Sunday night, Bellinger accomplished a first in Dodgers/Padres history.

This has not been Bellinger’s finest season, but he is showing signs of life lately. Perhaps the greatest sign was him turning around a 100-MPH fastball for his second home run of the game on Sunday. As Rick Monday pointed out on the Dodgers’ radio broadcast, Bellinger driving a ball to left-center is not something we’ve seen a lot, and it could be an excellent sign that he’s more comfortable in the batter’s box and trusting his power to all fields.

Bellinger’s homers were nearly identical, but hammered to center field and tailing into the Home Run Seats in left-center.

This was Bellinger’s fifteenth career game with two home runs and his third against the Padres. That ties San Diego with the Phillies, interestingly enough, against whom Cody had multi-homer games in 2017, 2019, and 2021. (The two-homer game in 2017 were Bellinger’s first two career homers, the second one coming in the famous “Absolute Madness” ninth inning.)

The Mets and Diamondbacks have also been the recipients of two multi-homer Bellinger games.

Even with the two home runs on Sunday, Bellinger’s season slash line sits at .212/.270/.404 for a .673 OPS (84 OPS+). His defense has remained excellent and helped him maintain his status as a real contributor to the team, but if he (and fellow signs-of-life-shower Max Muncy) can get hot offensively, a Dodgers team that already has the best record in baseball might get even better.

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  1. One. Padres entered the league in 1969. I’m sure that’s just a typo, but proofreading is free for all humans if you do it yourself. Two. A guy named Gary Sheffield played for the Dodgers from 1998 through 2001, and he hit a few home runs while he was here. It looks like you need research help