Giants Surprised Cody Bellinger Fly Ball Wasn’t Home Run

Like nearly every other team, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been left stunned on multiple occasions this season when a fly ball that seemingly had enough of an exit velocity and launch angle didn’t result in a home run. Such applied to Cody Bellinger on Tuesday night.

With the Dodgers clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, Bellinger made contact off San Francisco Giants relief pitcher John Brebbia for a drive to straightaway center field. The ball had a 102.3 mph exit velocity and .790 expected batting average.

But rather than carry well past the wall for a home run, Bellinger’s drive resulted in a 390-foot flyout.

That Bellinger didn’t it a home run caught Brebbia by surprise, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic:

“I thought it was going to kill someone trying to catch it in the 10th row,” said Brebbia, who declined to watch the full flight of Cody Bellinger’s deep drive in the seventh inning Tuesday night. “That’s not something I needed to see.”

Mauricio Dubón anticipated needing to make an effort at a leaping catch as he too thought Bellinger had hit a homer, per Evan Webeck of The Mercury News:

“I thought Bellinger’s ball was out,” Dubón said. “Then it looked like it hit a wall. I was getting ready to jump, and it just died at the end.”

Bellinger wasn’t alone in hitting what optically appeared to be a home run off the bat. Earlier in the game, Max Muncy made contact for a 97.8 mph exit velocity and .460 expected batting average, only for his fly ball to right field resulting in a 363-foot flyout.

Dubón had a hard line drive caught in deep left field, and Kevin Padlo’s fly ball to the left-center field gap also resulted in an out.

The empty swings further fueled suspicions with the baseballs being used this season. An independent study found the league used two different versions last year, but MLB reportedly informed teams that isn’t the case this season.

Nevertheless, balls in play do have more drag and thus don’t carry as far. Furthermore, all 30 teams are utilizing a humidor this season.

Humidors bring baseballs to an average humidity, which in a dry park means they become more humid and heavier. In humid parks, however, a humidor dries out the baseballs and makes them lighter.

Roberts thought Bellinger hit homer

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been among those to question the baseballs, and he also was surprised Bellinger didn’t get rewarded with a home run.

“I was surprised on the Bellinger ball. I thought Trea hit one that had a shot, I think they hit a ball to left field that had a good chance to get out,” Roberts said. “But the Bellinger ball, exit velocity and trajectory, I thought was a home run.”

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