LOS ANGELES — If you asked numerous Hollywood screenwriters, they likely would be unable to write up a script like this one. Coming into Wednesday’s contest, the Dodgers had walked it off in four consecutive games at Dodger Stadium, providing a movie-like finish to each one.
On their previous home-stand, they swept the Rockies thanks to walk-off home runs from three different rookies, something that had never been done before. On Tuesday night against Arizona, the Dodgers used five straight walks with two outs to come from behind and win, something that hadn’t been done in nearly a century.
On Wednesday night, the magic was alive and well, as nearly 54,000 screaming fans watched Cody Bellinger send a ball deep into the Hollywood sky, landing in the right-field bleachers for a game-winning home run.
CODY BELLINGER, YOU ARE RIDICULOUS. pic.twitter.com/AvDKVDk5SM— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 4, 2019
The homer was a historic one all the way around, as it was Bellinger’s 29th of the season. It’s the most home runs by a Dodgers player before the All-Star break in franchise history. On top of that, the home run marked the Dodgers’ fifth consecutive walk-off victory at home. They are the fifth team in the last 100 years to win via the walk-off in five consecutive home games.
“There’s not many words to say to describe it,” Bellinger said. “Being apart of it is something special.”
Prior to the unforgettable blast, the Dodgers sparked yet another ninth inning comeback. Trailing a run entering the bottom half of the frame, Enrique Hernandez led things off with a double to right, missing a home run by a few feet. Matt Beaty followed, and brought in Hernandez with an RBI single. “We don’t feel like we’re out of it,” Dave Roberts said. “You get to a point where you expect to win.”
With 59 wins and the best record in all of baseball, it’s gotten to the point where you truly do expect a win every night from this ball club.
Getting the start for the Dodgers was Walker Buehler. It was his first outing since last week in Colorado, where he allowed a career-high seven runs and career-high 13 hits. Though it wasn’t exactly the outing he was hoping for, he was still dominant for the Dodgers. He gave LA seven strong innings, allowing only three runs. He struck out nine and didn’t issue a walk, doing that for only the third time in his career.
With the game tied at three a piece, Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the ninth. After needing one pitch to get the first out, he threw six the next at-bat. His sixth was a costly pitch, as Carson Kelly connected and sent it over the center field fence, giving the D-Backs the 4-3 lead. “We understand he have to pick each other up,” Roberts said. “We had to pick [Kenley] up, that’s part of being a team.”
To no surprise, his team picked him up, as the game was tied again after only two batters. “To put together innings like that, especially late off of high leverage guys speaks to the depth of our team and our lineup.” Buehler said.
Unable to walk things off in the ninth, the game went into extras, and Roberts turned the ball over to Joe Kelly. He threw a 1-2-3 inning, while striking out one. On top of that, he even touched 100 mph on the gun. “He’s a guy that I’ve said from the beginning, we’re not going to lose confidence,” Roberts said. “It’s really good to see him get results. He’s a big part of where we’re trying to go. His entire mix is on point right now, couldn’t be more excited.”
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Bellinger stepped up to the plate. With the count 1-0, he connected on a 97 mph fastball and sent it into the night sky for the game-winning home run.
“I was feeling good at the plate today,” Bellinger said. “There’s some days you know you feel good, today was one of those days.”
On the season, Bellinger is hitting .345 with 29 home runs and 70 RBI. At the moment, he is likely the front-runner for National League MVP, a spot that he might not have envisioned himself in at the beginning of the season.
“I didn’t set goals,” he said. “I was feeling positive and confident heading into Spring Training, but I did not expect to do this. I don’t think anyone would expect to do it.”
When asked to make a case for his teammate being the MVP, Buehler gave a very short, simple, but honest answer. “I don’t think my case matters too much, it speaks for itself.”
He’s right. With the season Bellinger is having, and the countless moments he’s provided, it really does speak for itself.
WP: Joe Kelly (3-3) 1 IP, 1 SO, 0 ER
LP: Yoan Lopez (1-2) 1⁄3 IP, 1 ER
Home runs: Cody Bellinger 2 (29) Christian Walker (15) Carson Kelly (10)
The Dodgers will host the San DIego Padres for a four-game series before the All-Star break. Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the start tomorrow for LA. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. PT.