The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Tampa Bay Rays, 8-7, in 11 innings on Wednesday night, but Cody Bellinger continued his stellar season by going 2-for-5 with a home run.
The homer was Bellinger’s 45th of the season, which not only extended his career high but also made a record-breaking blast. Per STATS LLC, at 24 years and 67 days, Bellinger is the youngest outfielder in National League history to hit 45 home runs in a season (based on primary position).
He surpassed New York and San Francisco Giants legend Willie Mays, who was 24 years and 131 days old when he hit his 45th home run in 1955.
Bellinger was sitting on 44 homers for the Dodgers’ last 12 games, which tied a season-long drought for him. He connected on one in the bottom of the eighth inning off Emilio Pagan, launching it an estimated 414 feet that off the right-field foul pole at Dodger Stadium.
The next milestone that Bellinger can reach is the Dodgers’ franchise home run record of 49 set by Shawn Green in 2001. Although, he would have to go on a bit of a run as Los Angeles only has nine regular-season games remaining.
Overall in 148 games this season, Bellinger is batting .305/.408/.631 with 45 home runs, 115 runs scored and 110 RBI. He is one of the NL’s leading MVP candidates along with Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich and Washington Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon.
With the Dodgers having the best record in the league and Bellinger producing a historic season though, some consider him the favorite to win the award, especially if he finishes the season strong.
Led by Bellinger, the Dodgers have broken a number of home run records this season, including the NL record for total longballs in a season. Theu also set the franchise and NL record for most players with double-digit home runs in a single season with 11.