LOS ANGELES --- Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has jumped into the spotlight by mashing his way toward a record-breaking season in Dodgers history.
Bellinger, who has hit 28 homers in 84 games this season, drove in Corey Seager twice Saturday, the Dodgers' only scores as they won, 2-1, against the Giants. In doing so, the National League Rookie of the Year candidate collected his 69th RBI, which leads the team, and his 27th off a lefty, also good for first on the team.
Bellinger, who's hitting .288 with three homers, a double, a triple and 11 RBIs to go along with an .881 OPS since the All-Star break, said the reason for his success vs. lefties is the comfort he feels in the batter's box against them.
"I think the thing with Cody, he can hit velocity and he can also hit spin." manager Dave Roberts said. "So as a left-on-left guy, those breaking balls going away from you, that's the ones that are tough. He stays in there and keeps that front side closed. On some of the best in the game, he can slug him, but he can still get a base hit, but he's not afraid, so that's why for me I feel good where he's at in four [hitting cleanup]."
Seager, who went 3-for-4 on Saturday, and Bellinger feed off one another and trade tips on how to attack pitchers. Seager was in a similar position to Bellinger last season, emerging as a powerful bat in the Dodgers lineup and working his way toward the 2016 NL Rookie of the Year. He's running out of words to describe what Bellinger has done.
"It's kind of getting ridiculous at this point," Seager said.
Roberts added: "You look at two guys who can hurt you with damage and can hurt you with slug, so a lot of times pitchers attack guys the same way. Cody does understand how they're attacking Corey, both very good hitters, hitting lefties, righties. Corey is swinging the bat really well, and up and down the lineup, we've done some good things."