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Cody Bellinger Bombs: Chronicling Home Run 43

Dodgers
Apr 30, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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). 

So much has taken place since our last installment of ‘Bellinger Bombs’. Bellinger was benched for lack of hustle (after hitting a ball over 420 feet). We lost our star shortstop for the season. The Dodgers went into a tailspin – compiling a 3-6 record since he last left the yard.

The Nation is weary – and no matter how bad things seem – when a Bellinger blast leaves the bat, hope is restored. Even if only for a moment. This wasn’t a cheapie, but rather a true ‘tape-measure’ shot you should enjoy reading about. Today, we savor Bellinger’s longest home run of 2018 in all it’s glory.

The Home Run

Click those first few frames so that it plays a few times. Hear that sound? That sounds different. Off the bat, the only question was would this ball be fair. Bellinger hit the ball so hard that it didn’t have a chance to drift foul.

This was Bellinger’s 43rd career home run. He just passed Kirk Gibson and Sandy Amoros on the all-time Dodger home run list. This was the second time he’s left the park at Chase Field, within his home state. His fourth home run of the season was his 21st career in a road park.

How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game

After this ball left the yard, I had the feeling the Dodgers were going to win this game. They went from trailing 1-0 to leading 2-1 in a few second, and Clayton Kershaw was on the bump. The blast had a 20% change in win-expectancy for the Dodgers, taking them from 36% chance at a win to 56% after the home run. This represents Bellnger’s biggest game-swinging home run this season in terms of that metric.

But the Dodgers were still only really coin-flip odds at that point to win the game. I shouldn’t have felt as confidently as I did. It was only the top of the third inning, and there was a ton of baseball left to be played. The Dodgers would only add one more run all evening, and Kershaw would make another two fatal mistakes. Los Angeles went on to lose the game 4-3.

The Victim

Matt Koch just seemed like Cody Bellinger’s type. The 27-year old right-hander boasts decent stats over 37 big league innings. It was the fifth game started of his career. He’s now allowed three homers at the highest level, but last night was the first time since 2016 (Koch didn’t record an out in a single appearance in 2017). What else do you need to know about Koch? He was a third-round draft pick in 2012. This man holds the dubious distinction as being the player the Mets dealt for reliever Addison Reed. And now he has been laid to rest by one Cody James Bellinger.

Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle

In a 3-1 count, Matt Koch made a terrible mistake. He threw a simple 92.1 MPH Four-seam fastball down the heart of the plate to Cody Bellinger. The resulting chemistry when the Louisville Slugger met the baseball was a beautiful thing. This home run traveled 435 feet from home plate. The exit velocity was 112 miles per hour, and the angle was 29 degrees at it’s highest. That means that this ball got out in a hurry.

This all qualifies it as Bellinger’s first ‘moonshot’ of the year, and if you saw his teammates react in the dugout, they were impressed. These are guys who see home runs hit every day. This one was a little different, even to them.

Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score

I feel bad not scoring this one a little higher. Had the Dodgers gone on to win this one 2-1, it’s probably in the ‘9.0’ range. Then again, it wasn’t a milestone home run and didn’t come off an elite arm. This home run will go down in history as a very long home run for #CodyLove, but may end up forgotten by many.

We give it a nice score for the distance and violence of the ball – that thing could have hurt someone on the concourse level at Chase field. But we will continue to wait before handing out our first nine or above on the year.

Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 8.75

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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