Cody Bellinger (28‧Chicago Cubs) was once a star cheered by Los Angeles Dodgers fans. He could hit well, and he could hit far, and he was an outstanding talent with good defense and power. His star rating was also plentiful. He was literally a player who could play baseball cool.
Dodgers fans who had been envious of Mike Trout, the best player in the league owned by the next-door Angels for 10 years, thought Bellinger had a chance to fight back. He was expected to be a player who could grow like Trout in the future 스포츠토토. This expectation reached its peak when Bellinger became the league MVP with a league bombing performance of 0.305 batting average, 47 homers, 115 RBIs, and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 1.035 in 156 games in 2019, the third year of the league.
At the time, if you were to choose the two ace of the LA Dodgers, the batter was Bellinger. And the actual ace of the mound was Ryu Hyun-jin (36‧ Toronto). Of course, there was an iconic ace called Clayton Kershaw. However, frequent injuries did not help the team throughout the season. As the result of being ranked first in the National League ERA suggests, Hyun-Jin Ryu’s pitching quality was not inferior to Kershaw’s. The ace in the actual postseason was Ryu Hyun-jin.
The relationship between the two players ended in 2019. This is because after the 2019 season ended, Ryu Hyun-jin, who came to the market with qualification as a free agent (FA), signed a 4-year, $80 million contract with Toronto and left the Dodgers. Bellinger and Ryu Hyun-jin played together for about three years. Coincidentally, after Ryu Hyun-jin left, Bellinger also began to decline.
In addition to being sluggish in 2020, he even suffered a shoulder injury, and throughout 2021 and 2022, ‘sluggishness’ and ‘whether or not to rebound’ became a hot topic in the media, and eventually last winter was treated as non-tender. Soon after, he signed a contract with the Cubs, but it came as a shock. Ryu Hyun-jin also underwent elbow ligament reconstruction surgery (Tommy John surgery) in June of last year and disappeared from our attention for a while. In 2019, the two and other aces of the Los Angeles Dodgers were in danger of disappearing off the stage so lonely.
The two players met on the 14th (Korean time) at Toronto’s home stadium Rogers Center. Ryu Hyun-jin wore a Toronto uniform, and Bellinger wore a Cubs uniform and reunited. It was also the first encounter between two players who had never faced each other before. The result was a decent level if judged to be a draw. In the first inning, with one company on first and second base, Ryu Hyun-jin treated Bellinger as a floating ball and sighed. In the second meeting in the 4th inning, Bellinger picked a walk and harassed Ryu Hyun-jin. However, Toronto won and it was Ryu Hyun-jin who laughed last.
In fact, light jokes were exchanged before the match. During the game, the cast of ‘Sportsnet’, a broadcaster hosted by Toronto, introduced an episode surrounding Bellinger’s appearance on the day. It was an anecdote where you could read Bellinger’s recent confidence and good flow.
‘Sportsnet relay’ introduced the relationship between the two players, saying, “It’s an interesting scene. Ryu Hyun-jin and Bellinger have played for the Dodgers for several years and have never met each other.” Cubs) manager joked with Bellinger, ‘He (Ryu Hyun-jin) is a lefty, so shall we take a break tomorrow?’ Then Bellinger looked serious and said, ‘Are you kidding? He really wants to play as a starter.’ laughed
Bellinger rebounded perfectly with a batting average of 0.328, 18 homers, 59 RBIs and an OPS of 0.935 in 87 games of the season. At the beginning of the season, his sense of hitting went back and forth and he also suffered injuries, but once he got a feel for it, he is showing off his explosive attack power. In his 29 games in the second half, he has achieved a batting average of 0.387 and an OPS of 1.111.
The reason why Ross’ words were a joke was nuanced, but also related to Bellinger’s recent situation. He has a batting average of 0.400 and a slugging percentage of 0.720 in the last 7 games, and his hitting feeling is at its peak. He had a rest day a few days ago, so there was no reason to take it off. Also, Bellinger is not a player who favors left-right splits. He’s a lefty hitter, but this year his performance against lefties is better. He has an OPS of 0.900 against righties this year, up to 1.028 against lefties.
Bellinger can also think that he did not need to take a break in a situation where he has been feeling good lately. It is a common mentality of all batters to want to continue to play when the batting is good. However, Bellinger stayed with 1 walk and no hits in 3 at-bats that day.
Ryu Hyun-jin also enjoyed the reunion with Bellinger. In an interview with the local media after the game, Ryu Hyun-jin praised him as “one of the most difficult hitters to deal with these days,” and commented that it was a fun game, saying, “He coped well with good balls.” Coincidentally, both players get FA status after this season. It became interesting to see what uniforms they would wear next.