Mookie Betts put on a full display of his talents in Saturday night’s victory over the Phillies. From hitting a home run, to driving in two runs on a double and throwing out what would have been the go-ahead run at home plate. He once again showed that when he’s on, he is the biggest star in Hollywood.
"This game is so hard so to be able to play well on both sides of the ball, you take it when it comes." Mookie Betts talks about his dominant day in Philly (3-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) with our studio crew. #Dodgerspic.twitter.com/TWuT3JTZI7
Nobody in Major League Baseball has crossed the plate to score more than Mookie Betts has this season. The former MVP added two more runs to his league-leading total of 40 after Sundays 4-3 loss to the scrappy Philadelphia Phillies. He’s on pace for 157 this season. That would make him the second player since 1950 to score over 150 runs, the other being Jeff Bagwell who did it in 2000 with the Houston Astros.
Betts got the Dodgers offense started Saturday with a 3rd inning home run off Zach Wheeler to even the score at one a piece. It was his third home run in seven games and his ninth overall this season.
Mookie Betts drove in two runs then stays in the game after hurting his arm trying to catch himself from falling pic.twitter.com/q6rH1ilQXg
Fast forward to the 5th inning, full count, two outs with runners on first and second as his Dodgers trailed 4-1. Betts hit a ball deep into the left center field of Citizens Bank Park. As he rounded second, Betts fell and appeared to injure his left arm. Trainers would come out to help him, but he would ultimately decide to stay in the game.
“I tried to turn on the jets but then realized I don’t have the jets anymore,” Betts said in his post game interview with a smile on his face. “I slipped on the base and put my arm down, not sure what happened but it was just a little stinger that went away after a minute or two.”
That play had Dodger fans holding their breath as they watched their superstar agonize in pain. He is at the top of the list for a majority of Dodgers hitting statistics including leading the team in runs scored and home runs while being in the top three for RBI, on base percentage and slugging percentage.
To cap off his Saturday night, Betts made what might have been the biggest play of the Dodgers season.
With the bases loaded and one out in the 7th inning, Betts tracked down a line drive, made the catch and threw out a runner with a perfect throw from right field to keep the score tied at four. It was the third runner Betts has thrown out in the last two weeks.
“That situation is kind of what you live for,” said Betts. “It does not happen very often. I long toss and do everything just to be ready for that moment, it gives you a little adrenaline rush.”
The Dodgers would go on to win their seventh game out of their last 10 as Mookie Betts continues to be in MVP form during a season manager Dave Roberts described as World Series or bust.
Betts seems to be taking on that challenge personally. He got off to a slow start but attributed that to a few instances of bad luck where the ball just could not find the ground.
Over his last 15 games, entering Sunday, Betts was batting .308 with 15 RBI, five home runs, 15 runs scored and a .646 slugging percentage.
This week Betts and his Dodgers travel to the nation’s capital to take on Josh Bell and the Washington Nationals before heading to Arizona for a divisional matchup against the Diamondbacks.
Since 2011, the Los Angeles Dodgers have not posted a record below .500. But, under the leadership of Dave Roberts, the Dodgers have taken an even bigger leap.
Since taking over the team he has won three National League Pennants and a World Series Championship (2020). Roberts also won the National League manager of the Year award in 2016 while dealing with one of the most injury-plagued teams in Major League history, placing an unprecedented 28 players on the IL.
It is no secret that the superstar Dodgers are a revolving door of high-level talent. The team has been filled with a litany of All Stars, blue-chip prospects, and key free agent signings that have fueled the team’s dominance over the past decade.
But no matter how the roster changes, Roberts has always kept them in a position that leads to constant winning and sustained success.
He has converted starting pitchers to relievers, former All Stars to quality role players, and even castaways from other organizations to mainstays in Los Angeles.
Although Dave Roberts has already established himself as one of the best managers in the game, if not the greatest, there is still much more he can accomplish. More money to make too.
Having won one out of three trips to the World Series, Roberts knows that he can again claim the ultimate prize by leading the team to success in October.
The Dodgers started the year as World Series favorites, something that has been a recurring theme during Roberts’s tenure.
Roberts is in a unique spot. With Los Angeles being one of the biggest markets in the sports world, there is always constant pressure to be great and reach lofty expectations.
His regular season success is something to lean on, but ultimately it won’t keep him safe when the team is in “championship or bust” mode.
With former American League MVP MLBbro Mookie Betts, and former National League MVP Freddie Freeman, he has a lineup that is averaging over 5 runs per game which leads the Majors.
His pitching staff, despite the loss of Trevor Bauer, also leads the league with a 2.25 ERA.
Dave Roberts is indeed an elite manager. With another World Series title in 2022, which is very well within his grasp, he could join an even greater pantheon of managers who have gone on to win multiple championships.
Josh Naylor etched his name into Major League Baseball’s history books Monday night by having the greatest late game performance in league history. He is the only player to ever record eight RBI in the eighth inning or later as he carried the Guardians to one of their biggest comebacks in franchise history. For that he takes the top spot on our Week 5 #HighFive list.
1. Josh Naylor
Josh Naylor changed the trajectory of the Guardians season with a few late inning swings Monday night leading him to the top spot on our #HighFive list.
The Guardians entered the ninth inning trailing Chicago 8-2. After getting a few runs across the plate Naylor entered the batters with two-outs and his team trailing 8-4. On the first swing of his at-bat he launched a grand slam to right field off closer Liam Hendricks. He shushed the crowd as he crossed home plate, clearly saving some emotion for what was to come later.
Then with the game tied at nine in the 11th, Naylor launched a two-out three-run home run to break the hearts of fans on Chicago’s Southside.
It may be the best home run celebration I have seen. We see players showing emotion more so now than in years past, but I’m not sure any player has shown more excitement than Naylor did.
In addition to his eight RBI, Naylor also had a game-saving scoop on a throw from third base in the bottom of the ninth inning to give himself a chance at being the hero later on.
Over his last seven games Naylor is batting .417 with a .875 slugging percentage, three home runs, 14 RBI and an on base percentage over .440.
He has been up and down from the Majors to the Minors over the last few seasons, but by the way he is going this season, he won’t have to leave the Guardians locker room any time soon.
2. Mookie Betts
We are going to see MVP Mookie Betts this entire season. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made it clear before the season his team has one goal in mind, win their eighth World Series championship, prompting Betts to respond as the teams table setter out of the leadoff spot.
Tuesday his season long 10-game hitting streak snapped but he made up for it by nailing a runner out at home in the first inning of that same game.
His 22 runs scored is good for second in the Majors as he trails Manny Machado by one for the lead. Over his last seven games Betts is batting .300 with seven RBI, two home runs and five runs scored helping his Dodgers get to the top of the N.L. West.
3. Aaron Judge
Aaron Judge was the first player in the Majors to reach 10 home runs and has his team with the best record in the League going into this weekend as he earns the third spot on our #HighFive list.
Judge hit the first walk-off home run Tuesday night to kickoff what would be a three-game sweep in round one of their season-long matchup with the Blue Jay.
Through his last seven games Judge is batting .259 with six RBI, three walks and two home runs.
This weekend his Yankees travel to Chicago to take on Tim Anderson and the White Sox in their first matchup since the Field of Dreams game.