A spot in the 2020 World Series was on the line Sunday night at Globe Life Field and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger put the Los Angeles Dodgers ahead for good, leading to a third pennant victory in four years. Bellinger clocked a go-ahead solo home run against Atlanta Braves right-hander Chris Martin in the seventh inning of Game 7. The homer proved to be a game-winner in a 4-3 victory.
The homer concluded a great eight-pitch at-bat -- Bellinger fouled away a mistake fastball out over the plate on the fifth pitch and I thought he'd regret missing his pitch -- and it is Bellinger's second career Game 7 homer. He went deep in Game 7 of the 2018 NLCS against the Brewers. Here's the homer:
When you hit a go-ahead home run in the late innings of Game 7, you're allowed to pimp it like that. There have been a lot of bat flips and pimped homers and all sorts of stuff this series and neither side has complained. It's been refreshing and fun.
The home run is the first go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later of a Game 7 since ... Howie Kendrick in the World Series last year. Who could forget? Also, Bellinger joins Hall of Famer Yogi Berra as the only players in history to hit a go-ahead home run in multiple Game 7s. Pretty cool.
It should be noted Bellinger appeared to hurt his right shoulder during the home run celebration. He gave Enrique Hernandez, who hit a game-tying homer in the sixth inning, a flying forearm smash, them grimaced a bit. Bellinger was in obvious discomfort in the dugout and he flexed his shoulder after he took the field. Bellinger remained in the game, but afterward he said his shoulder "popped out" during the celebration.
Prior to the home run, it had been a pretty quiet NLCS for Bellinger. He went 4 for 23 (.174) with a home run in Games 1-6, then went 0 for with two walks before the homer in Game 7.