Remember when Cody Bellinger started the 2022 season 2-for-14 with six strikeouts and Los Angeles Dodgers fans were having a meltdown?
Then again, when doesn’t this fanbase have a meltdown? They were flipping out when LA lost 3-2 against the Padres on Saturday despite a 10-3 record. Sometimes, it’ll never be good enough for certain supporters.
But what about now? Bellinger has been on fire after his early struggles and has been a primary reason for the Dodgers’ success. They’re 11-4 at the moment, lead the NL West, and trail the Mets by a half-game for the best record in the sport.
Bellinger has already looked eons better than at any point in 2021, which is a development Dodgers fans have long been waiting for. He’s hitting .254 with a .855 OPS, 146 OPS+, four homers, eight RBI and three stolen bases across his first 16 games.
That’s the stuff we’re talking about. Bellinger’s swing looks like it’s back to MVP form, which was arguably the main issue holding him back during his career-worst campaign last year.
Cody Bellinger is … back?! The Dodgers will rule MLB if he is.
A multi-home run game from Bellinger on Sunday led the Dodgers to a series win over the division-rival Padres. The Dodgers are 3-0 when Bellinger homers this year. They’re 4-0 when he records an RBI. Yes, a small sample size … but nobody saw these results across 95 games last season, where he recorded 10 homers and 21 total extra-base hits.
No wonder that a Padres fan attempted to hit Belli with a beer can on Friday night. This turnaround is unexpected and killing the opposition!
Call this a result of the Dodgers’ lineup getting even better with the Freddie Freeman addition and Gavin Lux coming alive after a few subpar cameos. But right now, only Freeman is out-performing Bellinger among the full-time starters. That’s gotta mean something!
The noticeable difference in his swing has clearly contributed to his resurgence. In 2021, it was evident he wasn’t as loose in his delivery and approach. That was likely a result of his shoulder injury from 2020 that required surgery. And he didn’t have enough time to get back on track after suffering a leg injury in the early going of 2021.
Now that he got those 95 awful games out of his system, rediscovered his groove in the playoffs, and is now off to a hot start in 2022, we might be witnessing the beginning of the return of MVP-level Cody Bellinger. Did we mention the splits for Bellinger in Dodgers’ wins and losses?
- In wins – .278 average and .960 OPS with 290 runs scored, 111 HR and 293 RBI
- In losses – .220 average and .673 OPS with 81 runs scored, 26 HR and 69 RBI
And if he’s “back,” please, tell us, who is going to defeat the Dodgers in a seven-game series if most of this roster can stay healthy? You have until September to answer that question.