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Cody Bellinger Bombs: Chronicling Home Run 44

Dodgers
May 12, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger (35) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-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). 

A gap of about 80 plate appearances separates our last post and this one. For a power hitter like Bellinger, that seems like far too many. With role players and platoon guys creeping up on his 2018 total, it was time for #CodyLove to do some damage. Luckily, Los Angeles was host to Homer Bailey this weekend. If there’s one thing Bailey is still good at (wait, was he ever good?), it’s giving up gopher balls.

This home run came on the night that the 1988 team was honored. It should have been part of a much happier ending rather than what fate had in store for the Dodgers. The Dodgers are not hitting a plethora of home runs right now. We need to savor every time that Bellinger leaves the yard, at the present time more than ever before.

The Home Run

The blast opened scoring on a Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. During the entire series with the Cincinnati Reds, their pitching staff had success by throwing Bellinger fastballs up in the zone. Homer Bailey decided to test Bellinger down in the zone.

The end result was the fifth home run of Bellinger’s season, and 44th of his young career. This was his 171st game played of his career.

It was his 23rd career round-tripper at Dodger Stadium. He has that same total now for solo shots. This was his fifth against the Reds, second most to only San Diego. Bellinger is now tied with Manny Ramirez and Rafael Furcal among others for 65th place on the Dodgers’ all-time home run leader list.

How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game

Before Bellinger connected on this shot, the Dodgers were 53 percent odds to win the game. By the time he was rounding the bases, they moved to 65 percent. It certainly felt like it was finally going to be the Dodgers night.

As we all know by now, the nightmare continued. Dave Roberts removed Ross Stripling a hair too early, and this game ended with a final score of 5-3.

The talk after the game was not about the home run – but rather Bellinger bunting on a 3-0 count. Things don’t always end up as they are meant in the game of baseball.

The Victim

Homer Bailey, come on down. Tell him what he’s won, Alex! Bailey now leads the league in home runs allowed with 12. He’s had a somewhat long and storied career. The ‘storied’ part would include being the seventh overall pick in the 2004 MLB draft, and two no-hitters.

Bailey had Tommy-John in 2016, and has had an ERA north of 6.00 since that time. He’s 67-68 in parts of 12 seasons, all with Cincinnati. The tally is now at 142 for career homers allowed for Bailey. This was the first served up to Cody Bellinger – and a fun fact – Adrian Gonzalez has taken him deep the most times in his career (seven).

Nevertheless, Bailey is long past the point where he will regain his peak form of 2012 to 2014. The present is more about survival. Despite the blast by Bellinger, he was able to survive and earn his first win of the season in nine attempts.

Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle

At first glance by where the ball landed, this appeared to be a tape-measure shot by Bellinger. The ball landed a good way up in the stands in right-center. It cleared the 400-foot plateau by a few feet, checking in at 406 on the official record.

Bailey threw a decent fastball in terms of velocity (94.6), but as we mentioned earlier; he went hunting right in Bellinger’s kill-zone. Bellinger was able to turn on the pitch and get his hands inside the ball quickly, leading to an exit velocity of 106 MPH. The launch-angle on this was 32 degrees, which seems like the standard going rate for a Bellinger home run as we compile more data.

Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score

Home runs that come at home should carry a little more weight. Especially if they occur when many of the 1988 Dodgers are in attendance, and the team is having difficulty scoring runs. The way the game-flow played out in this ballgame detracts a little bit from our judge’s final score. More memorable home runs will be hit; and in fact, many fans walked away from this game forgetting that the guy hit a 400-plus foot shot to put Los Angeles on the board.

Let the record state that Bellinger’s 44th career home run was enjoyable, but will not go down in history. Unless of course, you count our regimen when he accomplishes the feat tracking history.

Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 6.5

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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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