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).
The Dodgers kicked off the Fourth of July fireworks a little early against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night. In all, 17 runs were scored before the game finished. It was the second highest total in Dodger Stadium history. That party got started by none other than Cody James Bellinger, who hit his 17th home run of the 2018 season in the bottom of the third inning.
If Bellinger gets on one of his patented hot streaks, he’s going to have the opportunity at a prestigious sophomore power season. But there’s time to let that happen, and worry about it later. Right now we are here to document and talk about the blast that was the the 56th of his career.
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The Home Run
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 3, 2018
This was the 39th time Bellinger has hit a home run off a right-handed pitcher, according to the home run tracker. Dodger Stadium is neck and neck with away parks – this was the 27th home run he’s hit in front of a home crowd. It was his eighth in the third inning, his 35th as a clean-up hitter, 43rd as a first baseman, and also his eighth to dead center. The home run resembled blast number 47, in terms of where it landed.
He remains in 56th place all alone on the Dodgers all-time home run list. His next home run will tie him with Paul Lo Duca.
How Bellinger’s Home Run Impacted The Game
When Bellinger came to plate in the bottom of the third inning, they led the game 2-1 and were 65 percent win expectancy. After the ball landed out by the big blast speakers in center, they rose to 76 percent.
This win expectancy chart is fun to look at. The Dodgers really buried the Pirates on this night – and you won’t see a lot of charts in this column that ever look like this one above. This game was over for all technical purposes by the fifth inning. Bellinger’s home run was merely a formality; a preview, of things that were to come.
The perpetrator in this part of the column is always the same, but we welcome a new guest in this edition. Meet Nick Kingham, Pirates rookie starting pitcher from Houston, Texas. He was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB draft by the Pirates. Kingham has allowed seven home runs in 38.1 innings pitched – over a full season’s work this would not seem to extrapolate well for the six foot five right-hander. Kingham somewhat took the baseball world by storm when his made his big league debut on April 29th, throwing seven one-hit shutout innings against the Cardinals.
Altogether, he’s 2-4 with a 4.70 ERA and 37 strikeouts to go with 10 walks. He looks like he has some upside if he can keep the long ball in check. The Dodgers were seeing the ball well off Kingham on this July 2nd night of 2018.
Exit Velocity, Distance, Pitch Data, and Angle
94.3mph Two-seam Fastball
RHP Nick Kingham (5)
— Home Run Tracker (@DingerTracker) July 3, 2018
Kingham threw a 94.3 mile per hour fastball to Bellinger down in the zone. This is a spot where Bellinger really seems to like the ball if you watch some of his home run highlights dating back to his rookie year. The interesting point about all this is someone gave Bellinger a three ball, no strike green light to swing if he liked the pitch. It’s nice to see a hitter take an aggressive approach in that count once in a great while. When the result is a 109 MPH laser off the bat that lands 408 feet away, it’s even better.
If this tweet above is correct, the ball had an angle of just 19 degrees at it’s highest point. That would mark the most line-drive like home run of Bellinger’s season. His typical angle on a home run is in the low 30’s.
Overall Bellinger-Bomb Prominence Score
They’re all great, truly. Nevertheless, by the time this game wrapped up; Bellinger had given way to Chase Utley at first base. Matt Kemp had five hits and a home run of his own. Several other Dodgers homered in the offensive explosion, making the one that got things started seem like a few games ago.
A beautiful home run that we will score accordingly, but not one that goes down in history for any prominent reason. Keep them coming, Cody. Soon enough you will be approaching your next milestone blast.
Dodgers’ Nation Prominence HR Score: 7.5
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