Unlike last season when the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared to be suffering from a World Series hangover, the team has come out of the gate at a torrid pace in 2019. Cody Bellinger has largely led the way as the Dodgers have made both franchise and MLB history.
Those paths intertwined Tuesday night when Bellinger lined a grand slam to straight away center field. The grand slam was Bellinger’s fourth of his career, gave him an MLB-best 12 RBI this season and put the youngster into a tie with Khris Davis for most home runs.
Moreover, the homer was Bellinger’s 69th of his career. That broke Mike Piazza’s Dodgers franchise record for most home runs in the first 300 games of their career.
In 2017, Bellinger’s 36th home run broke the Dodgers rookie record that Piazza held. Bellinger went on to finish with 39 homers en route to being named National League Rookie of the Year.
“It feels pretty special,” Bellinger said of his latest accomplishment. “It’s crazy that I already have 300 games under my belt. It feels like it happened yesterday. Feeling good and just trying to carry it on.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts heaped praise on his young outfielder, saying, “His at-bat qualities, his takes are good. He’s just seeing it really well. I think this is as good as I’ve seen him.”
Bellinger’s long ball also gave the Dodgers at least one home run in each of their six games this season. That tied a franchise record to start a season, previously set by the 1954 Brooklyn team.