Bellinger looked lost at the plate in Spring Training, striking out a lot and barely getting the bat on the ball. He was tinkering much with his swing, trying to find his form. He quipped that he was just getting his “punchies” (his word for strikeouts) out of the way in Spring Training.
Fans need not have worried. Bellinger has found his swing, and has been so good of late that he earned himself NL Player of the Week, for the week ending April 24th. During the week, Belli went 7-for-23 with three runs scored, two doubles, a triple, three home runs, seven RBI and an .870 slugging percentage across six games.
Cody had two home runs in Sunday’s game against the San Diego Padres, his first multi-home run game of the season. He now leads a potent Dodgers lineup with four home runs, 32 total bases, and a slugging percentage of .582. It is Bellinger’s fourth Player of the Week award, and his first since that 2019 MVP season.
While the Dodgers lineup has been doing damage and scoring a lot of runs, the Dodgers’ pitching staff has also been holding up their end of the bargain. Currently the pitching staff as a whole is first in MLB with a 2.22 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and .191 batting average against. Their starters are second only to the New York Mets in Wins, with 11.
While everyone expected the Dodgers to be the top of the NL West and National League this season, maybe not everyone expected the NL West to be such a tightly contested race. While the season is only three weeks old, the NL West is a pretty close race between four teams. The Dodgers, Padres, San Francisco Giants, and Colorado Rockies are all within 2.0 games of each other, and four of the best seven records in the National League. Something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
The Dodgers now begin a three game series with the only team in the NL West that will not be contending for the division crown. The Arizona Diamondbacks are currently 6-10, good for a .375 winning percentage.
Kelly currently has a minuscule 0.59 ERA, but the only batter in the Dodgers lineup who has less than a .333 batting average against him is Chris Taylor.
Before Monday’s game, the Dodgers optioned Zach McKinstry back to Triple-A Oklahoma City, and recalled RHP Andre Jackson. Jackson has only allowed one run in three appearances in Triple-A, and could be slotted to piggyback with Tyler Anderson in the rotation.