After weeks of little to no traction in the NL West division race, the Dodgers have finally broken through and gained 2 games on the Giants. That only leaves a measly half game between the top two teams in baseball. Everything seems to finally be clicking for the Dodgers, the offense is throwing up numbers, the rotation has been an anchor, and even the bullpen has been putting up zeros.
However, the team does still have one big weakness in the form of Cody Bellinger. To get right to it, Bellinger has been awful this season, it’s widely known. He’s scraped together a below average .172 batting average with 9 homers and 32 RBI. Although he’s acknowledged Cody’s struggles, Dave believes the 26-year old centerfield has been the victim of bad luck this season.
“I thought he looked great. I think that when Cody does square the baseball up which he did in his first two at-bats, unfortunately he’s having some tough luck.”
Bad luck or bad play?
There have been plenty of instances where Cody has hit the ball hard this season, only for it to find a glove. Doc may be a bit right there. Looking at his BABIP (batting average on balls in play), which can help indicate if a player has had some luck or bad luck, it’s at .206 which is below his career average of .286.
With that being said, it’s also hard to ignore that Cody hasn’t hit the ball as hard this year. He has a hard-hit rate of 34.6% which, again, is below his career average. Not hitting the ball as hard will affect how many balls fall in for a hit as well as regulate someone to platoon duties.
Still, you can’t help but sympathize with him just a little.
“The hard thing for him is where you’re at, you really want results. You want to feel like you’re helping the ball club, but the challenge and the thing that he knows is that we’re all supporting him. He’s just got to continue to grind. We’re counting on him.”
Thankfully for Bellinger, he was able to help out his club in the 3-2 win against Atlanta on Tuesday. With one out in the bottom of the 7th, Cody took a Luke Jackson curveball into right field for a single that moved AJ Pollock to 3rd base. One batter later, Pollock was brought home on a Chris Taylor sacrifice fly out. That wouldn’t have been possible without Cody.
It wasn’t too long ago that he had an MVP-caliber season. He still has tremendous upside to his game, he just needs a find a way to tap back into it. For now, the Dodgers have been able to get the job done without him, yet having his bat come to life would be a huge boost in October.