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Dodgers first baseman/outfielder Cody Bellinger went through an absolutely miserable 2021 regular season. And he was 0 for 5 with four strikeouts -- and looked every bit that bad, for those who weren't watching -- in the NLDS through his first two at-bats in Game 2 against the Giants

As such, when he came to the plate in a big spot Saturday night, it felt like another strikeout was coming. The Dodgers had a 2-1 lead with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth inning. Trailing the series, 1-0, some insurance was desperately needed. 

And the 2019 MVP delivered.

Nearly a grand slam, Bellinger had to settle for a two-RBI double that broke the game open for the Dodgers. A.J. Pollock followed with another two-run double to make it 6-1. The Dodgers would end up winning the game, 9-2, to even the best-of-five NLDS at one game apiece. 

That Bellinger double was probably the play of the game. Man, imagine the relief Bellinger felt when he made contact with that rocket to left-center. Manager Dave Roberts had the same thought. 

"I think there was a big weight lifted off his shoulders," Roberts told reporters after the game (via NBC Sports' Dalton Johnson).   

Bellinger has dealt with shoulder surgery (last offseason, but those things can linger), a hairline fracture in his lower left leg and a broken rib throughout the course of the 2021 season. The result was a highly compromised two-time All-Star who won 2017 Rookie of the Year and 2019 MVP honors.

"I feel good," Bellinger said after the game, regarding his health, but also looping in his big hit. "More so now just about doing what I can to help this team win in any moment." 

In his 95 games this season, Bellinger hit .165/.240/.302 (45 OPS+, which means he was 55 percent worse than league average). On top of that, Bellinger went 2 for 48 in the regular season against the Giants. 

As alluded to earlier, it was pretty jarring watching just how different a hitter he was -- to go from MVP in the last full season to someone who looks like he shouldn't even be on the roster. Maybe the double is a sign of things to come from Bellinger and he could put this miserable 2021 regular-season behind him. 

Especially with Max Muncy out after suffering a dislocated elbow in the last game of the season, getting Bellinger going would do wonders for both the depth and power of the Dodgers' lineup as they look to repeat as World Series champions.