This crazy statistic shows just how impressive defending NL MVP Cody Bellinger’s ninth-inning home run off of Kirby Yates was.
Los Angeles Dodgers MVP slugger Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run off of Kirby Yates in Monday’s 5-4 loss to the San Diego Padres, becoming the first player to homer off of Yates’ splitter since 2018.
The impressive feat is nothing surprising for Bellinger, whose quick ascent to stardom has placed him among the top players in the major leagues. The 24-year-old won NL MVP in 2018, and is one of the favorites to take home the award again in 2020.
We’ve come to expect nothing less from Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger
The solo shoot was a no-doubter, and while the Dodgers could not pull out the win, it was an encouraging sign for Bellinger, who has struggled so far in 2020. Over 11 games, Bellinger has posted just a .159 batting average and two home runs, a far cry from his 2019 performance.
However, Dodgers fans may see his feat from Monday night as a turning point, as Bellinger hopes to find his rhythm with a sixth of the season already over. New addition Mookie Betts has been stellar as always, and a strong lineup has picked up the slack for Bellinger as Los Angeles has posted a 7-4 record.
Bellinger needs to perform if Los Angeles hopes to deliver on World Series expectations, though. Dodgers fans have suffered through years of postseason heartbreak, and Bellinger may be the most important piece in the quest to bring the Dodgers back to the promised land.
While taking Yates yard is a great first step, the two-time All-Star simply needs to take it game by game to return to his elite form. He certainly has the talent to elevate the Dodgers further, and his peak could bring the team to new heights.