Struggling Dodgers star Cody Bellinger breaks through with clutch NLDS double: ‘A big weight lifted’

Dodgers first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger went by way of a completely depressing 2021 common season. And he was 0 for five with 4 strikeouts — and appeared each bit that unhealthy, for individuals who weren’t watching — within the NLDS by way of his first two at-bats in Recreation 2 in opposition to the Giants

As such, when he got here to the plate in a giant spot Saturday night time, it felt like one other strikeout was coming. The Dodgers had a 2-1 lead with the bases loaded and one out within the sixth inning. Trailing the collection, 1-0, some insurance coverage was desperately wanted. 

And the 2019 MVP delivered.

Practically a grand slam, Bellinger needed to accept a two-RBI double that broke the sport open for the Dodgers. A.J. Pollock adopted with one other two-run double to make it 6-1. The Dodgers would end up winning the game, 9-2, to even the best-of-five NLDS at one recreation apiece. 

That Bellinger double was most likely the play of the sport. Man, think about the reduction Bellinger felt when he made contact with that rocket to left-center. Supervisor Dave Roberts had the identical thought. 

“I believe there was a giant weight lifted off his shoulders,” Roberts instructed reporters after the sport (via NBC Sports’ Dalton Johnson).   

Bellinger has handled shoulder surgical procedure (final offseason, however these issues can linger), a hairline fracture in his decrease left leg and a damaged rib all through the course of the 2021 season. The end result was a extremely compromised two-time All-Star who received 2017 Rookie of the 12 months and 2019 MVP honors.

“I really feel good,” Bellinger mentioned after the sport, concerning his well being, but in addition looping in his massive hit. “Extra so now nearly doing what I can to assist this crew win in any second.” 

In his 95 video games this season, Bellinger hit .165/.240/.302 (45 OPS+, which implies he was 55 % worse than league common). On prime of that, Bellinger went 2 for 48 within the common season in opposition to the Giants. 

As alluded to earlier, it was fairly jarring watching simply how completely different a hitter he was — to go from MVP within the final full season to somebody who seems like he should not even be on the roster. Possibly the double is an indication of issues to come back from Bellinger and he may put this depressing 2021 regular-season behind him. 

Particularly with Max Muncy out after struggling a dislocated elbow within the final recreation of the season, getting Bellinger going would do wonders for each the depth and energy of the Dodgers’ lineup as they give the impression of being to repeat as World Sequence champions. | Struggling Dodgers star Cody Bellinger breaks by way of with clutch NLDS double: ‘A giant weight lifted’


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