Bell hit 86 home runs and drove in 309 runs during his five years with the Pirates, and in the sixth inning of Friday night’s game he proved his comfort in the Pittsburgh batters box by hitting a solo home run to extend Washington’s lead to 3-1.
However that lead would not stand up for long: Pirates MLBbro Anthony Alford answered Bell’s bomb with a homer of his own to cut the deficit to one, then later on in the game, their young phenom Ke’Bryan Hayes sent folks home happy with the first walk off hit of his career.
During the weekend series Bell was 3-for-9 with five walks, two runs and that home run as his Nationals could only salvage one win out of the three games.
Bell finished third in Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 and was named as an All-Star for the Pirates in 2019. That year he hit .277 with career highs in home runs, average, OPS, slugging percentage, hits, doubles and runs.
Josh Bell has hit 25 HRs in a season for the 3rd time in his @MLB career.
That year was also Bell’s second time homering 25 or more times for the Pirates, and with him already passing that mark this season, he became just the second player in Major League history to hit 25 home runs for the Nationals/ Montreal Expos and the Pirates joining former first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Bell is one of the few pieces that stayed in Washington after their fire sale during the trade deadline. His year started off slow as he only hit .113 for the month of April and has been fighting to rise the average ever since.
“I feel good as of late,” said Bell to reporters before Friday night’s game. “I had a really rough start that I had to work my way out of. Thank God it wasn’t a 60-game season again. I kind of turned things around.”
He signed a one-year deal with the Nationals this offseason and is now batting .253 with 26 home runs, a .813 OPS and 81 RBI.
He has definitely earned himself a payday after this season whether he gets it in D.C. or with a new franchise.
Bell is now chasing the 30-homer mark during this final month of the season. Showing those numbers during contract negotiations can only help his cause.
This week he and his Nationals will take on the “Bahamian Blur” Jazz Chisholm Jr. and the Miami Marlins.
The 2021 season did not kick off as Josh Bell envisioned.
The power-swinging lefty joined the Washington Nationals during the offseason and was ready to make an immediate impact in his first year in the nation’s capital. COVID protocol delayed his arrival and disrupted his MLBbro flow, so he’s just now gaining some consistency at the plate.
It’s safe to say that Bell has shown significant improvement in the month of June after struggling at the start of the season.
He recently tied his longest hitting streak of the season (six games), which ended on June 28th.
During that hitting streak he went 7-for-23 with eight RBI and two home runs. This is the player that the Nationals have been waiting to see and a big reason why they sought out to acquire him. It’s no question that Bell knows how to hit. There is a lot of power in that 6-foot-4 255 pound frame of his.
The 28-year-old has been seeing the ball pretty well this month. Earlier this month, Bell had his first six-game hitting streak. He had a total of seven hits during the streak.
Recently, Bell had a clutch performance for the Nationals as he hit a grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 23rd.
Nationals manager, Davey Martinez was filled with emotions after witnessing that performance from Bell.
“Big home run by J. Bell. That was huge. Two strikes, being able to stay on the ball, hit it the other way, that was big,” Martinez told Yahoo Sports. “To me, that was the moment right there I told myself, ‘That made him a National right there.’ That really did make him a National. Hopefully, he keeps it going.”
“You watch this guy every day work the way he works, how passionate he is about our club and the team,” Martinez said. “It was awesome to see him come through like that.”
As you can see, Martinez is high on Bell and has a lot of confidence in him, especially at the plate. Bell believes that moment was a turning point.
“I’ve put in a lot of work with [hitting coach Kevin] Long, it seems like things are starting to turn around for me,” Bell said. “Hopefully, that’s one of quite a few moments I have with the Nationals.”
Our MLBbro is hitting .226 with 11 home runs and 34 RBI through 61 games. Don’t let that batting average fool you, Bell can hit bombs in bunches and he makes his hits count.
Despite struggling out the gate, he’s making the necessary adjustments. If Bell can perform like he did in 2019 with the Pirates, where he hit 37 home runs, then he will be a problem for sure in the National League.
Keep an eye out for this brother throughout the season. He’s really just heating up for his new squad.
Former MLB player Fred McGriff played in the league for 19 years and enjoyed a successful, yet harshly underrated career.
Throughout his career, he won multiple individual awards, while making a deep impact on every team he played for. He also developed a nickname during his time in the league. “The Crime Dog” would stick with him for the rest of his career.
McGriff initially signed with the New York Yankees after the team selected him in the ninth round of the 1981 MLB Draft. The next year he was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays, and four years later, he would make his MLB debut with the Blue Jays.
He spent his first five MLB seasons with the Blue Jays and hit a respectable .278 during those years. In 1989, McGriff won his first Silver Slugger award batting .269 with 36 home runs and 92 RBIs.
Following his time up north he was traded to the San Diego Padres. In his second season with the Padres, he was named to his first All-Star team and won his second Silver Slugger award. McGriff continued to take his game to the next level. During the middle of his career, he joined his third team, the Atlanta Braves. The slugging first baseman joined a talented roster, that would go onto have a lot of success.
During the 1994 season, McGriff made his second all-star team, and he finished the season batting .318 while hitting 34 home runs. The next season the Braves won the 1995 World Series. McGriff hit .261 with two home runs and three RBIs in six games against the Cleveland Indians,
McGriff was a player that many people knew across the league. During the 1990s and 2000s, he appeared in multiple baseball instructional videos, which would get a lot of viewers. He teamed up with Tom Emanski a baseball coach who did a lot of instructional videos and lessons for players, to make those videos. McGriff and Emanski had a relationship before he made it to the majors, as Emanski helped the “Crime Dog” become just that by helping him with his swing early in his baseball career. Safe to say it paid off.
During those years McGriff had a lot of success, as he was good in the field and with his bat. He was already a World Series champion and had made numerous All-Star appearances. So seeing McGriff in those videos attracted a ton of positive feedback and attention.
As far as how the “Crime Dog” name came about?
ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman gave McGriff the nickname, as McGriff’s last name is similar to “McGruff “The Crime Dog’s name. McGruff was an animated dog that helped increase crime awareness and personal safety.
It was fitting that Berman gave McGriff that nickname because of his last name and it stuck with lanky power-hiter the rest of his underrated career.
He finished his career with a .284 batting average, 2,490 hits, 493 home runs, and 1,550 RBIs. Many believe he needed those seven more home runs to reach the magic number of 500 and have a real shot at making it to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame. But if guys like Jim Thome and Jeff Bagwell and Harold Baines are in the Hall, then McGriff’s omission is…well a Crime… Dawgs
David Grubb goes first to third, highlighting Cleveland Indians rookie first baseman and MLBbro Bobby Bradley, who is scorching the ball and could make a major impact on the AL Central division race with his power bat.