Cody Bellinger Bombs: Chronicling Home Run 55

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 has made us busy individuals during the month of June. Up to 16 home runs on the 2018 season, Bellinger has gone deep eight times in his last 16 games played. Meanwhile, on Wednesday night the young slugger had a late surprise for the home crowd of 42,121 that hung around for the conclusion of an exciting 7-5 Dodgers win.

It’s been a season of learning for Bellinger. Within the peaks and valleys of his solid sophomore season, perhaps we’re learning something about him as well. This is a young player with staying power; and he is showing the ability to adjust ever so subtly. His 55th career home run was one of his most beautiful pieces of hitting he’s displayed all season long.

In honor of Cody, let’s bang the drum again. As long as he keeps serving souvenirs – we will be here to file away the dinger docket.

The Home Run

It’s ritual that we take a look at the Bellinger home run log. His 26th career home run at the splendid home park of the Dodgers was his 17th off a left-handed pitcher. Again, Bellinger finds magic in the eighth inning; the 15th time he has done so (and more than twice of any other inning total). This was the fifth time he’s drilled the bleacher seats in left-center field. His 55th career home run was his 30th solo shot.

Bellinger moved into 56th place on the Dodgers all-time home run list, passing Corey Seager and Russell Martin.

Much has been made of Bellinger’s offensive struggles when he plays centerfield. Did anyone take note that this home run came playing the eight spot?

Re-watch the replay and savor this one a bit. When a left-handed hitter faces a left-handed reliever with this kind of velocity, and goes with a pitch to drill it out like Bellinger did; you’re left saying ‘wow’.

How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game

The Dodgers held a narrow 6-5 lead when Bellinger stepped in to begin the bottom of the 8th. While they were an 87 percent win expectancy, it certainly didn’t feel like the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The Cubs had just scored two runs and the Dodgers were forced to go to Kenley Jansen early. An insurance run is everything you need in this situation, and Bellinger delivered.

The play had an impact of seven percent – moving the Dodgers to 94 percent expectancy to win this game. I, along with all of you was able to exhale a little bit and realize that barring a Jansen blow-up; the Dodgers were going to win this game. Bellinger’s home run didn’t make the Cubs quit, but it certainly stomped on their momentum.

The Victim

Welcome to the club, Randy Rosario. You are a very impressive 24-year old left-handed pitcher. You’re going to get a lot of hitters out in this game, and have a successful career it appears. I’m immensely impressed by the stuff that Rosario has, and he feels like a guy who will be a fixture in the Cubs bullpen in his late-innings role for years to come. It’s nice that Bellinger showed Rosario his ability to hurt him on a pitcher’s pitch because the two will certainly face off several more times in their careers.

This was the third home run Rosario has allowed in his career, and second to a left-handed batter. In 2018 he 1.89 ERA in 19 innings pitched. The Dominican Republic born hurler came to the Cubs via the Minnesota Twins off waivers during the off-season.

Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle

Obviously, this was an impressive home run beyond the numbers. Equally important was exit velocity of 106 miles per hour, the ball traveled 411 feet to the opposite field. The launch-angle of the ball at it’s peak was 31 degrees. It came off a 94 mile per hour fastball from Rosario. If you watch the replay, it was on the outside corner. This wasn’t a pitch that hitters are usually going to drill out of the park and drive themselves in on. Still, Bellinger did it anyways. This play displayed the incredible natural talent he possesses.

Nevertheless, here’s what he had to say about it:

Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score

I came away so impressed by this swing – possibly more than any other this season. When it comes late in the game, off a lefty, and at Chavez Ravine; these things factor into a prominence score.

This was one of the biggest home runs that Cody has hit all season. We give him his due, and it’s beginning to feel like we’re entering one of those Bellinger power binges we saw in 2017. Positively, we’re going to be writing another one of these for the archives very soon.

Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 9.0

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Written by Staff Writer


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