Dodgers News: Two Good Games for Bellinger — Hot Streak or Mirage?

Cody Bellinger has back-to-back two-hit games and had a huge double on Monday night, giving hope that he might figure things out just in time for the playoffs.

Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger is having an up-and-down season, with the downs much more frequent and more extreme than the ups. Overall this year, Bellinger is batting just .203 with a .646 OPS, both far below league average and miles below his MVP season of just three years ago.

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On Monday night, though, Bellinger came through with a huge hit for the Dodgers, driving a two-run double to right-center field to give Los Angeles a couple much-needed insurance runs in their eventual 6-0 win over the Diamondbacks.

Bellinger added a single later in the game, his second straight two-hit game and his first time with consecutive multi-hit games since mid-June. After the game, SportsNetLA’s Kirsten Watson asked Bellinger about heating up right now.

“It’s a good time to heat up. Really the only time that matters is coming up. So, just continue to play good baseball leading up to (the postseason) and… yeah, definitely feeling good.”

Is it Bellinger turning things around just in time for the postseason, like we’ve seen each of the last two years? Or is this just the latest in a string of mirages in which Bellinger starts to show his true potential only to fall off again?

There’s probably no way to know right now. On the SportsNetLA postgame show after Monday’s game, Dodgers analyst Jerry Hairston Jr. praised some tweaks Bellinger has made to his stance and swing, but the changes he pointed out were not the ones he adamantly insisted were necessary just ten days earlier, so it’s hard to know what to read from that. While Belli does have four hits over the last two days, he also has three strikeouts in eight at-bats.

Bellinger told Watson he is constantly working with the Dodgers’ hitting staff, and he recognizes it’s a process.

“We work every single day. It’s been a long process, but more work to be done.”

Clearly, the Dodgers are a better team when Bellinger is right offensively. His defense in center field is outstanding, so if he can hit well enough to deserve a spot in the starting lineup, that helps them on both sides of the ball. An effective Bellinger also gives Los Angeles more options with Trayce Thompson, allowing him to be a spot starter and a great weapon off the bench they can deploy in ideal situations. (It was Thompson, coming off the bench, who hit a sacrifice fly right before Belli’s double to give the Dodgers the 1-0 lead.)

Only time will tell whether Bellinger has figured things out this time, but at least for two nights, the results look promising.

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