MVP, MVP, MVP…
This chant was all you could hear echoing through the stands of Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night after Cody Bellinger erupted at the plate less than one week after returning from the injured list.
Bellinger led the Dodgers’ record onslaught of runs in the first inning to demolish the Cardinals by a score of 14-3. Los Angeles scored 11 in the first thanks to a six RBI first inning for the former MVP.
Big Night for Bellinger
The beginning of the season did not go how Cody Bellinger imagined. In 2019, he won the MVP and fell apart in last season’s 60-game slate.
Bellinger game into this season with high hopes after hitting four home runs for the Dodgers, which helped lead the team to its seventh World Series title.
However, adversity continued to strike the outfielder less than one week into the 2021 campaign. A hairline fracture in his shin kept him out of the lineup from April 6th through May 29th.
Wednesday was the first time that Bellinger looked like a former MVP since returning to the team. He was 2 for 4 with a grand slam and six RBI. The two hits came in the first inning, which helped his team set a record.
The Dodgers scored the most runs in one inning on Wednesday since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. Bellinger’s blast was his first of the season besides the shot he hit in his rehab assignment in the minors.
Heading into the game, Bellinger was 1 for 12 with eight strikeouts since returning from the injured list. The Dodgers and Carlos Martinez can now confirm that the monkey is off the back of the two-time All-Star.
Bellinger is locked in at the plate, and Los Angeles could not be more excited.
“I was just missing some pitches, but that comes with routine and reps.”
The Dodgers are Dangerous
There is no doubt that Los Angeles is the best team in baseball. They have not played like an elite club, but there are still four months left in the regular season.
The Dodgers took two of three games from the Cardinals this week after giving three games back to the Giants over the weekend. The team is 33-23 on the year and 1.5 games out of first place.
If Bellinger performs like he is capable, and Betts and Turner regroup, this team is unstoppable. The pitching staff is one of the best in baseball, and Los Angeles has the strongest offense on paper.
When the Dodgers gain true momentum, it’s over for every team in the National League, and there is no denying this fact.
Dave Roberts spoke about the talent of his club after Wednesday’s victory.
“I felt we were in position ten days ago to hit a good run. We hit a lull this past series, but guys are coming back. It doesn’t matter who we are playing. If we are lined up and playing good baseball, we can go on a run.”
Who’s Next for the Dodgers?
Los Angeles is entering a portion of their schedule that they should dominate. They will face the struggling Braves beginning on Friday, before three-game series against the Pirates, Rangers, Phillies, and D-backs.
After this stretch, they will face the Padres in San Diego. With the opponents lined up for the Dodgers in the next two weeks, they should be in first place when their road trip to San Diego begins.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.