Cody Bellinger hits bombs.

On Apr 25, 2022

Cody Bellinger hits bombs.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run of his own the next inning, and then went again with a three-run bomb in the fifth to increase the margin to 8-1.

Cody Bellinger has been a different hitter so far in 2022

Fast forward to the start of 2022, and those struggles seem to be a distant memory. Bellinger appears back to his old self, a constant threat in the middle of the formidable Dodgers lineup. He’s batting .273 with four home runs and eight RBI. On Sunday in San Diego, Bellinger hit two home runs to center field in a 10-2 win for the division-leading Dodgers over the rival Padres. It was his seventh multi-hit game already this season; he had just eight in 95 games last season.

“I’m feeling good. Like I always say, every day is a grind. It’s a really hard game,” he told Sportsnet LA’s Kirsten Watson on the field following the game. “I’m just going out there and competing and just trying to get the job done.”

Bellinger has made rapid improvement over his forgettable 2021 season. He hit .173 off four-seam fastballs last year, second-worst among players with at least 150 plate appearances. He’s batting .241 on fastballs so far this year; in his MVP 2019 season, he hit .321, so there is still room to grow. His barrel percentage has more than doubled, from 7.1 a year ago to 14.3 this season. Even against left-handers, Bellinger is no longer a liability at the plate. He’s hitting .308 off lefties, including a 405-foot shot off Padres starter Sean Manaea on Sunday.

Success came early to Bellinger in his career. He was Rookie of the Year at 22, hitting 39 home runs in 2017. He was NL MVP two years later. He won a world championship the next year. Prolonged struggle was unheard of for someone who was so good, so young.

Then came the injuries and the hopelessness at the plate. The Bellinger who stood tall at the plate, unleashing a mighty uppercut swing on the rest of the NL, was long gone and perhaps never coming back.

He’s not the same hitter he was in 2019 and likely never will be again; there just aren’t many .300 hitters capable of 47 home runs in today’s game. But if he continues to be the hitter he’s been so far in 2022, if he can put two balls into the center-field grass at Petco Park in an important division game, if not even left-handers can get him out, then the Dodgers are as dangerous as they’ve ever been.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team remaining in the MLB without five losses, with Sunday's 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres moving their record to 11-4.

It was another near-spotless start for Dodgers ace and future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw, conceding just one run and four base runners in five complete innings.

Miggy T-Shirt & Hoodie | Miguel Cebrara 3000 Hits Detroit Tigers Triple Crown


Padres starter Sean Manaea is a Cy Young award contender in his own right, but he did not have his best outing against a formidable Dodgers line-up, conceding six earned runs in just over four innings.

The runs were started with a Justin Turner sacrifice-fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, before Freddie Freeman smashed a 425-foot home run to score two more runs in the third frame.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run of his own the next inning, and then went again with a three-run bomb in the fifth to increase the margin to 8-1.

Buxton blasts in extra innings

Minnesota Twins center-fielder Byron Buxton hit the longest walk-off home run in the MLB Statcast era to defeat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in extra innings.

Buxton was the hero on two occasions on Sunday, tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a 366-foot home run that barely made it over the wall, before leaving no doubt in the last at-bat of the game.

After the White Sox went up 4-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Buxton stepped to the plate trailing by one, with two runners on base. His 469-foot, three-run blast is the longest game-winner since at least 2015 when Statcast began tracking.

Cole and Rizzo lead Yankees to Guardians sweep

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his poor start against the Detroit Tigers as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Guardians 10-2, claiming a sweep of their three-game series.

Not even lasting two innings against the Tigers - the shortest start of his career - Cole pitched into the seventh against the Guardians, striking out nine and allowing only four hits over 92 pitches.

Anthony Rizzo's two-run home run in the first inning tied him for the American League lead with five. It was the Yankees' fifth win in the past six, heading into a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who sit bottom in the AL East.


PreviousWhy Screaming-Loud Statement Shirts Are Trending in 2022
NextBehind the revival of the Versace brand

Related articles