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).
Cody Bellinger had homered in three straight contests coming into Friday night’s game against the Atlanta Braves. We do these posts to make each home run a memory of it’s own. So what made Bellinger’s 51st home run of his career, and 12th of the 2018 season memorable?
For me, it was one of those monster shots we became accustomed to seeing during his rookie year. You know, one that is a no-doubter at the crack of the bat and lands deep into the night in the right field pavilion. What’s more, just about the time you were getting sleepy and the innings were running late; Bellinger hit one so hard and so far that he woke you up a little bit. He did the same thing to the Chavez Ravine crowd of 47,262 that saw five Dodger home runs total.
Let’s examine this beauty in greater detail – this marks the first time in his career that Bellinger has homered in four straight games.
The Home Run
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 9, 2018
We have been wearing out the Bellinger baseball-reference home run log with visits. His 16th career homer against a southpaw was his 25th at Dodger Stadium. This was the 24th time he’s hit one out to right field – and 27th solo home run. It was the 13th time he’s dialed long distance in the eighth inning, his most by far of any frame.
Bellinger is now all alone in 58th place on the Dodgers’ all-time list with 51 career home runs.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
This game was all but decided by the time that Bellinger came to the plate with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. Leading by a score of 6-3, they were a 97 percent win expectancy. Still, Bellinger’s home run factored in as the ‘icing on the cake’ basically clinching the victory. His home run swung the game from 97 to 99 percent win expectancy.
This followed the pattern of many his home runs in 2018, interestingly.
Our guest today in this part of the column is 26-year old rookie Jesse Biddle. Biddle has been an impressive cog in the Atlanta bullpen in his first season. In 22 innings, he has a 2.86 ERA and 26 strikeouts. This was the third career home run that Biddle has allowed, all to left-handed hitters. What’s more, lefties are hitting .414 against Biddle this season. This may not bode well if he doesn’t start getting them out with more regularity.
Biddle was a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 MLB Draft, taken 27th overall.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
LHP Jesse Biddle (3)
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) June 9, 2018
Biddle tried to sneak a 3-1 slider past Bellinger, which wasn’t a bad idea. He wasn’t about to give in and throw a fastball to a guy who has been heating up. The problem is, the 88 mile per hour slider caught way too much of the plate. The ball would not survive it’s delivery.
Bellinger hit a textbook 410-foot blast most of the way up the right field pavilion. The ball had an exit velocity of 104 miles per hour and a launch angle of 33 degrees at it’s highest point. If you were at Dodger Stadium to see this live – you’re not only lucky – but probably can’t believe that a human being can hit a ball that high and that hard.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
A home run at Dodger Stadium on a Friday night that happens to come in a players’ fourth straight ballgame is no small order. It’s all taken into account – along with the fact that it was a monster shot that it woke up the crowd late.
Bellinger has a chance to tie the franchise record held by four other players on Saturday night if he homers in his fifth straight game. Let’s remember this home run as a true beauty off a lefty, and one that looked a lot like so many he hit in 2017. It earns a really nice score.
And Cody: if you keep hitting them, we will keep writing them up. We have a deal.
Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 8.0
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