In Game 5 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, Mookie Betts went 4-for-4, and became the only Dodger in history with four hits in a winner-take-all game. Between the offensive production and his defense that has ignited many plays from his fellow Dodger teammates, this team is on a trajectory to still win the NLCS and make the World Series.
“This is when the stars are stars,” Roberts said of Betts after the game 5 win. “And he’s a superstar.”
However after viewing the first two games against the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS, some would question this team’s focus and energy.
In game two in Atlanta, Mookie Betts opened the game with a single followed by Corey Seager’s homer that gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers had slightly better offensive production, despite Roberts decision to platoon pitchers on the mound including inserting Julio Urias into the relief that ultimately would cost them the win.
Betts is a part of a gigantic lineup that can hit in spots that most aren’t successful in, but balancing out the production is not only up to the players but Roberts seeing the adjustments through his eyes and not just analytics.
Many of the players are taking on the attitude of their manager with the aggressive base running in the first two games of this series.
During the regular season, the Dodgers ranked 17th in stolen bases. In the first eight games of the playoffs, Los Angeles has stolen 11 bases.
The aggressiveness must remain, yet smarter, more accurate hitting and fielding must improve if they want to have a strong chance at winning this series.
Betts stole two bases. Gavin Lux stole one base and Chris Taylor stole a base in game two on Sunday. Fortunately no one was thrown out while stealing bases.
“In the postseason where things are more magnified,” Roberts said, “you just can’t be afraid to fail. I just think that being careful in the postseason doesn’t play.”
Last year in the playoffs against the Braves they trailed 3-1 and fought back to win the series and move on to the World Series. This team has been down before, however can rise to the occasion again with similar opportunities on the line?
Roberts has strong believe in this club winning the NLCS, and maybe his strong faith can bend the baseball universe in their favor. However it will take swift action, precise hitting, stellar defense to be the empire who struck back to knock the Braves off for good.
After losing Game 1 of the National League Championship Series to the Atlanta Braves (3-2) on a walkoff homer, Dodgers #MLBbro Mookie Betts set the tone, leading off Game 2 with a single to left field. Corey Seager followed with a two-run homer to give the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Mookie Betts went 4 for 4 from the plate in the LA Dodgers’ 2-1 win over the San Francisco Giants in a decisive Game 5 of the NLDS. The defending World Champions advance to face the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. Betts is 6 for 8 in his last two games.
LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers advanced to the National League Division Series (NLDS) thanks to consistent hitting from Mookie Betts, who went 2-4 at the plate on Wednesday night, as Chris Taylor connected on a 2-run home run for the win over the St Louis Cardinals.
As unsettling as an elimination play-in game could be, the leadership of Betts along with several others in the clubhouse provided an energy that comes with previous playoff experience as they prepared for this moment.
“These games are — you get nervous and butterflies and all those type of things, but I think that’s what makes it fun. I think everybody kind of feels that,” Betts explained.
“I don’t want to speak for everybody, but it just kind of seems like the butterflies and whatnot are going, and I think that just means that we love it.”
The late Nipsey Hussle once rapped, “I owe myself, I told myself back then that I would do this.”
The swagger of a winner, the mentality of the mamba and the wind behind his back, and overcoming many obstacles this season. No one would deny Betts and the Dodgers their moment to shine and show out.
The Dodgers right fielder prepared to enter his 40th career postseason game healthy, however throughout the season there were peaks and valleys due to injuries for him.
Betts missed a sizable portion of the season with a hip injury he suffered in July, along with missing more time in August as he was eventually placed on the 10-day DL.
With him being in a significant amount of pain, the team wondered if he would be able to return this season, as surgery was also an option that was explored at one point.
When September arrived Betts returned from injury and contributed every game of the regular season. He’s been remarkable since his return, yet his impact was felt in the clubhouse even when he wasn’t on the field.
“You look back a couple months — I can’t believe we’re here with him (Betts) playing every day,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
This Dodgers team is a very close knit unit, with everything that they’ve gone through this season. Injuries, the Trevor Bauer drama. Betts blocked the noise with a sharp focus, determined to be the great player we have seen in times past.
“Even once I was somewhat healthy, I still didn’t play that well. I’m not blaming anything on any injuries or anything. It’s just purely me just not playing well,” Betts said before the Wildcard game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.
”But you know, we’ve got the guys, they all just picked up my slack, and that’s why we are where we are. Obviously the Giants played really well. Got to tip your cap. They won 107 games. We’ve played really well and kind of picked up for each other, and that’s just the name of the game.”
Many will focus on the incredible and vibrant walk off homer by Taylor, but make no mistake Betts’ contributions early in the game paved the way for the Dodgers make plays in order to be victorious.
The team moves on the face the Giants in San Francisco, a match up we all desire to witness.
Betts has been successful this season against their rivals from the north at plate and in the outfield.
His defense will be on display and needed for every game. Expect this defensive technician to come through like an Amazon delivery.