Struggling Dodgers star Cody Bellinger breaks through with clutch NLDS double: 'A big weight lifted'

Dodgers very first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger went through a definitely unpleasant 2021 routine season. And he was 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts — and looked every bit that bad, for those who weren’t viewing — in the NLDS through his very first 2 at-bats in Game 2 versus the Giants. 

As such, when he pertained to the plate in a huge area Saturday night, it seemed like another strikeout was coming. The Dodgers had a 2-1 lead with the bases packed and one out in the 6th inning. Trailing the series, 1-0, some insurance coverage was frantically required. 

And the 2019 MVP provided.

Nearly a grand slam, Bellinger needed to choose a two-RBI double that broke the video game open for the Dodgers. A.J. Pollock followed with another two-run double to make it 6-1. The Dodgers would wind up winning the video game, 9-2, to even the best-of-five NLDS at one video game each. 

That Bellinger double was most likely the play of the video game. Man, envision the relief Bellinger felt when he reached that rocket to left-center. Manager Dave Roberts had the exact same idea. 

“I think there was a big weight lifted off his shoulders,” Roberts informed press reporters after the video game (through NBC Sports’ Dalton Johnson).   

Bellinger has actually handled shoulder surgical treatment (last offseason, however those things can stick around), a hairline fracture in his lower left leg and a damaged rib throughout the course of the 2021 season. The result was an extremely jeopardized two-time All-Star who won 2017 Rookie of the Year and 2019 MVP honors.

“I feel good,” Bellinger stated after the video game, concerning his health, however likewise looping in his success. “More so now just about doing what I can to help this team win in any moment.” 

In his 95 video games this season, Bellinger struck .165/.240/.302 (45 OPS+, which indicates he was 55 percent even worse than league average). On top of that, Bellinger went 2 for 48 in the routine season versus the Giants. 

As mentioned earlier, it was quite disconcerting viewing simply how various a player he was — to go from MVP in the last complete season to somebody who appears like he should not even be on the lineup. Maybe the double signifies things to come from Bellinger and he might put this unpleasant 2021 regular-season behind him. 

Especially with Max Muncy out after suffering a dislocated elbow in the last video game of the season, getting Bellinger going would do marvels for both the depth and power of the Dodgers’ lineup as they seek to duplicate as World Series champs. 

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