Los Angeles Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger went into the 2019 campaign as a man on a mission after having a down year in 2018 that saw him platooned for the second half of the season.
Bellinger began the month of April at a historic pace, and while he wasn’t able to keep that up, he still earned plenty of accolades by the end of the season, winning the National League MVP Award in addition to his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger.
A big reason for Bellinger’s turnaround at the plate was his improvement against left-handed pitching. After posting just a .681 on-base plus slugging percentage against southpaws in 2018, he improved that number to an impressive .982 this year.
That all got started with one swing he took off San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner at the beginning of April. Bellinger had many memorable moments in 2019, but his grand slam off Bumgarner at Dodger Stadium has been ranked by DodgerBlue.com as the No. 7 highlight for his MVP season.
You asked to see the boss so they sent me. pic.twitter.com/2jiyVav1CH
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 3, 2019
Bellinger was hot heading into the matchup against the Giants, after hitting four home runs in the Opening Series of the year against the Arizona Diamondbacks. With the Dodgers leading 1-0 in the third inning on April 2, Bellinger stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs against Bumgarner.
Instead of trying to pull the outside fastball like he did a lot in 2018, Bellinger hit lined the ball back up the middle. It didn’t look to be a home run off the bat, got out in a hurry and wound up carrying over the center field fence for a grand slam, helping secure a 6-5 victory over the rival Giants.
That was just one of 18 home runs that Bellinger hit off lefties, which was the second-most in baseball behind J.D. Martinez. It is also his only career homer off Bumgarner, who he is 4-for-17 (.235 batting average) against.
Best Cody Bellinger Plays From 2019 NL MVP Season
No. 10: Home run on bobblehead night
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