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Dodgers: Mookie Betts and Dave Roberts Growing to Like the Odd Extra-Innings Rule

It’s easy to like it with a 3-1 record and fresh off of a win.



When MLB introduced the new extra-innings rule for 2020, players and fans were pretty split on it. The general consensus seemed to be whatever needs to happen to make baseball possible was fine. And now, a few weeks into a very short season, Dodgers players are coming around to the idea.

There might be a little bit of recency bias, given the fact that the Dodgers had just won an extra-innings game on Wednesday night. But the team, and Dave Roberts for that matter, are enjoying the quirks that come with a 2020 season. 

Mookie Betts talked to the media following the Dodgers win. For him, he’s of the belief that it changes up the games enough for him to be fine with it. It also happens to speed up the games a little, which players can appreciate. 

It’s whatever. I think the games seem like they go a little quicker because it’s not 15 inning games and we’re not all just trying to hit homeruns. I think it definitely brings different aspects to the game like the bunt, moving runners…it’s definitely a pretty cool experience for sure. 

Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts gets to see a little bit of a different angle on the new rule. For him, it’s certainly an adjustment from a normal extra-innings game in terms of the approach. A prime example of that would be him having Chris Taylor bunt to lead off the 10th inning. 

For me right there, I just wanted to extend the game at home. Joc did his job, got CT[Chris Taylor] over and you know Will Smith did his job. So a lot of good fundamental baseball tonight…I think there’s a lot of different variables that come into play, home/road, who’s hitting who’s behind the hitter, who’s on second base, who’s pitching…I actually kid of like that style. It becomes a kind of chess match. 

At this rate, it’s not a guarantee that the extra-innings rule will be gone in 2021. If it proves to be effective in speeding up games, MLB could consider keeping it around permanently. With the Dodgers going 3-1 in these weird extra-innings games, they might not hate that idea. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. I dislike long extra innings games. Its horrible for the fans and I believe that putting a runner on 2nd is a perfect way to speed up the game and also put the emphasis on Fundamental Baseball.
    The Dodgers did everything right last night. Taylor got down a poor bunt but it was successful. Pederson put the ball on the ground to move the potential winning run to 3rd with only 1 out and Smith put the ball in the air to score the winning run.
    We had an incredible pitching duel with two young aces in Gallen and Buehler. 9th inning heroics by Betts.
    Unfortunately Jansen was wild and could not throw a strike. The umpire was not calling borderline high strikes all evening which is where Jansen lives these days why would you put him in knowing that Jansen’s strikeout pitch is going to be called a ball? Jansen finally pulled himself together and threw a very nice 95 mph low outer corner fast ball for the strikeout to end the inning. First 95 mph pitch he threw all night nice to know he can still hit that velocity.

  2. Until we lose a big game later because of it. Maybe these games wouldn’t go 15 innings if guys didn’t just try to homer because it’s extra innings

  3. The extra inning tie break rule is called the International Tie Break, ITB, because it’s used universally for this ourpose. I’ve been watching it for 30 yrs in mens and women’s fastpitch leagues.
    I love it! It is an exciting way to end a game and I hope we keep it.

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