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).
All season, we’ve been asking for Cody Bellinger to keep us busy writing more of these posts that commemorate him hitting a home run. By my count, this is the first time he’s done so on back-to-back days.
Bellinger obliged as the Dodgers found themselves in a bit of a slugfest with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night. The game didn’t end in the outcome we all hope for – with Los Angeles losing 11-9 at PNC Park. However, Bellinger took another step in the right direction towards turning his season around. His 49th career home run had some prominence as a big play in the game. It was also the 10th home run of the 2018 season, so he’s into double digits.
Let’s take a deeper look at it in all it’s glory, shall we?
The Home Run
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) June 7, 2018
If you’re a fan of this series, you already have the Cody Bellinger HR log at baseball-reference bookmarked. His second career home run at PNC Park was his 34th off a righty, and 25th on the road. It was his 23rd blast to right field. This marks the seventh time he’s gone yard in the third inning, which is second most to his favorite inning to homer; the eighth inning.
I think this is the first time I’ve seen him homer off one knee – which you can see by examining the replay. This was his third home run as a center fielder. His 49th career home run moved him into a tie for 60th place on the Dodgers’ all-time list with Casey Blake. Obviously, Bellinger is making a meteoric climb up this list rather quickly at a young age.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
This was the home run we had been waiting on in terms of a blast that comes in a clutch situation. The Dodgers trailed 4-2 following a Matt Kemp run-scoring hit. They were at 26 percent win-probability when Bellinger stepped to the plate. His home run swung the game odds by 20 percent, his largest-leverage home run of the 2018 season. After the home run, the Dodgers were 46 percent odds to win this game on the road. Still, we know that it didn’t come to fruition. However, it won’t be lost on us when we go to score the prominence of this home run.
Pirates’ starter Trevor Williams becomes the latest and greatest to get a little more famous by serving one up to Cody Bellinger. Williams is by all accounts, a decent big league starting pitcher. In his second full season and third overall, he’s 13-13 with a 4.31 ERA. On days where he has his good stuff, he can be a tough customer. However, this was not one of those evenings for the 26-year old right hander. Williams has allowed 26 career home runs in 234 innings. Bellinger will go deep off greater pitchers, and has before. As a whole, Williams is the type of pitcher who Bellinger has become a household name against. He’s a decent but not spectacular off-brand righty who was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the second round of the 2013 draft. Please note that he was selected a full two rounds before Bellinger.
If you want to get to know him a little better even – he attended Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego as a youngster.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
Exit velocity: 102mph
Angle: 31°? pic.twitter.com/zwHEq2fRzl
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) June 7, 2018
Williams was just trying to sneak one last strike past Bellinger in a full-count. The problem was – the ball was down. This is often where a hitter like Bellinger who has a ‘launch-angle’ can really feast. Conversely, if you watch the replay; Bellinger drops to a knee to get down and reach this. It wasn’t the prettiest swing, but the ball was completely crushed.
Although it appears to clear the stands in right-field, it traveled just 371 feet officially. This is shorter than the Bellinger home runs we have become accustomed to. It was hit really high – at a 31 degree angle. The pitch of record was an 82.5 miles per hour change-up. Scouting notebooks around baseball just got updated: do not throw Cody Bellinger a full-count change down in the zone. He will hammer it.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
The home run was great because it tied the game and gave the Dodgers a chance to truly win the contest. It was not a moonshot, so we have to deduct a few points there. Coming against Trevor Williams doesn’t add much in the way of coming off a big-time hurler.
Since the positives are there – it’s going to score well. It was the second straight game Bellinger homered. It moved him to 49 on his career, just one shy of his first true milestone number in his young career. If the Dodgers go on to win this ballgame, we probably score it even higher.
For now, it gets a nice solid score. Keep them coming, Cody. We are loving this.
Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 8.0
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