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).
We had gone a full week without getting to do one of these posts, or enjoying a Bellinger moonshot. It was Saturday night at Chavez Ravine and Cody Bellinger bobblehead night. The mood felt right for one to leave the yard. Bellinger indeed, delivered. In the Dodgers’ 4-0 win over the Nationals, his home run proved to be more of the loud exclamation point than the major moment. It didn’t make it any less fun. The Dodgers have one of the best young power hitters in the game in the middle of their order. Any time he gives a souvenir to the (home) crowd, it’s an event we have to celebrate.
The Home Run
This was a violent and quick swing. If you took your eyes off the television for a moment, by the time you looked up the ball was into the pavilion in right field. This got out in a hurry. Of the three home runs Bellinger has hit this season, this one seems most like a textbook Bellinger shot we have become accustomed to seeing.
The tally continues to add up. It was his 42nd career home run. This was the 21st time he’s gone deep to right field, and the 22nd off a right hander. It was his 27th when serving as the clean-up hitter.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
The Dodgers were already ahead 2-0, following home runs from Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez earlier in the contest. Each of those home runs provided win differential percentages of +11. The Dodgers were a 94% to win the game when Bellinger stepped into the batter’s box. Kenley Jansen was warming in the bullpen for presumably, save 233 of his illustrious career.
The lion’s work had been done by Hyun-Jin Ryu, who was the real story of this game. This is all not to say that Bellinger’s titanic shot had no impact, because that wasn’t true. What it did do was put the game out of reach entirely. Their odds of winning the contest went from 94% to 99%, a plus-five. When this ball landed in the stands, there was hardly a member of the Dodger Stadium crowd of 50,908 who thought the Dodgers were losing this game.
Our victim laid to rest on this Saturday, April 21st night was 35-year old Carlos Torres. Torres, a native-Californian; was innocently just in the game in relief of Stephen Strasburg. Torres has kicked around baseball since his big league career began in 2009. He’s had stops with the White Sox, Rockies, Mets, and Brewers prior to signing with the Nationals before this season. He was out of baseball entirely in 2011. His career ERA moves to 4.02, and he’s now allowed 59 home runs in his career. He’s not a high-octane arm at this stage in his career. Torres has had a few solid years recently, and was just trying to limp through an appearance on Saturday night and get this thing to the ninth inning without being noticed.
He was noticed though, and became Bellinger’s third victim of the young season.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
92.4mph Fastball (Cutter)
RHP Carlos Torres (1)
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) April 22, 2018
This was a true ‘monster shot’ for Bellinger. Reaching 400-feet for the first time this season (409 was the official measurement) definitely qualifies it. But the 107 miles per hour exit velocity and 31 degree angle on the ball tell you all you need to know. This ball was hit on the nose, and didn’t get all that high in terms of it’s arc. If you review the video – it landed halfway up in the stands and got out quickly. It’s interesting to note that it came on an 0-2 pitch and Torres tried to sneak a cutter past Bellinger when he could have stood to throw something off the plate. The ball failed to cut that much and was basically over the heart of the plate. It was a mistake pitch, and one he wouldn’t live to tell about.
Much has been made so far this season of Bellinger swinging through pitches like this. It’s nice to see him finally not miss one. He got every piece of this.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
It was a perfect night at Dodger Stadium, and a long home run. It didn’t win the Dodgers the game, but it did come on his bobblehead night. Such sentimental points are taken into consideration when scoring a Bellinger home-run. It came in front of a sold-out home crowd, and was against a big-time opponent. We have to add some points for the distance of course. Hitting career home run 42 won’t have Bellinger seeking out the fan who caught the ball or anything, but you can’t hit 500 without hitting your 42nd. Another beat of the drum of many to come.
Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 8.25
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