Pure enjoyment. That’s how Cody Bellinger described his trip around the diamond after pulling the Dodgers out of a potential 0-3 series deficit with a mammoth game-tying home run late in the evening on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Dodger Stadium experienced a wave of emotions over 9 innings of baseball last night. From early highs to lows so low they say you could hear a pin drop in the ballpark. To a deafening loudness so loud, Cody Bellinger couldn’t hear anything.
“In the moment it’s loud but you don’t really hear anything. You don’t really see anything. I rounded second, saw the boys in the dugout giving me the celebration so I had to give it back. But pure joy, and I’m just glad that I could tie up the game right there to give us a chance.”
His teammates and manager in the dugout erupted.
“Pure elation… joy,” said Dave Roberts. “It’s just hard to imagine a bigger hit … just what was at stake. Couldn’t be happier for him. What a win.”
OCTOBER BELLI. pic.twitter.com/ZZ1vxcBaGq
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 20, 2021
“I saw it and I just tried to put a good swing on it,” Bellinger said of the neck-high 97 mile-per-hour fastball he sent into the right field pavilion. “It’s one of those things. Ball’s coming in hard, some shadows you’re dealing with, so I saw it well and I just tried to barrel it up.”
After a season where the former NL MVP hit just .165 while battling through injuries and prolonged slumps, Cody’s latest big postseason hit proves that whatever happened in the regular season doesn’t matter in October. It also reaffirms that swing changes worked on late in the season were the right call for the outfielder. In fact, after the game, the Atlanta reliever who served up the homer said the pitch was thrown right where he wanted it.
An area where pitchers got him out all season long.
“In a way, it’s a whole different season,” Bellinger said. “Luckily for me, I’ve got a clean slate going into the postseason.”
His 8th hit of the playoffs might just be his biggest. In 9 postseason games so far, Belli is hitting .292 with a .851 OPS, 4 runs scored and 6 runs batted in for an offense that has struggled mightily to put runs on the board consistently.
Cody, that homer wasn’t pure enjoyment for just you. It was pure enjoyment for all of Dodgers Nation.