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Dodgers: Mookie Betts Calls Out LA’s Poor Approach at the Plate



The Dodgers offense hasn’t been stellar in the NLCS. Loaded with names from top to bottom, the Dodgers have failed to consistently hang crooked numbers against the Braves.

Mookie Betts believes it’s a mix of poor plate approach and the Braves pitching staff performing at a high level.

“We’ve had some bad approaches with men in scoring position. We can always take the blame, but I think we should give them some credit. Those arms over there are really good.”

The Atlanta relievers, especially AJ Minter and Jesse Chavez, have stifled the Dodgers in crucial situations.

Through the first four games against Atlanta, the Dodgers are 5 for 27 (.222) with runners in scoring position.

In the first inning of Game 3, the Dodgers had the chance to put the Braves on the ropes early. Already up 2-0, the Dodgers juiced the bases with two outs, but failed to get any more runs across. Instead, they coughed up the lead and needed a miraculous Cody Bellinger three-run homer and Mookie Betts RBI double to steal the win late.

Betts provided some thoughts on why that Dodgers eighth inning come back in Game 3 was possible.

“We put a good inning together for the first time in a while..we need to do that more often.”

Wednesday night apparently wasn’t part of “often”. The Dodgers lineup had just one walk total with four punch outs in a troubling 9-2 Game 4 loss to Atlanta. As a team, they only had two at-bats with runners in scoring position. AJ Pollock’s single plated the only two runs they would score.

Plate approach and timely hitting will be necessary if the Dodgers are going to rally back from another 3-1 NLCS deficit.

For once, the Los Angeles offense will need to score early and often to keep their season alive.

Dodgers News: Justin Turner Exits Game 4 Early with Apparent Leg Injury

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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    • Me too. As much as I want to believe, I just don’t like they way things have gone this series. Atlanta has seemingly gotten all the breaks. The fielders are making great plays, always in the right spot and turning several key double plays. They are getting clutch hitting. Their pitchers are making very few mistake pitches! All-in-all it looks mighty grim for the boys in blue. But I’ll keep rooting anyway!

      • Concur with both of you gentlemen, their season long approach has been to swing for the home run and not just putting balls in play and taking more walks. I know that this has been hashed many times, but a bunt would not hurt. Will force Atlanta to adjust their infield positioning a little or at least it should. One thing that does have me concerned is that they get too patient and leave some very good pitches alone. And I completely agree with you Dodger that we can never stop rooting. The results will be what they are, but this team is certainly capable of winning the next three.

        • Nervous? Pifff… Braves pitching approach in game 3? Sliders in the dirt and “…when in doubt throw the trout (as in dead fish).” We had two runs on four hits (0.133) and 1 walk? Positives? They only left 4 on base. As far as having bad nerves? I learned many many years ago while in the Navy landing at night on aircraft carriers, take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Same in baseball. Clear the mind and one game and one pitch at a time.

  1. I really feel sad for Kershaw, Muncy and JT. Three wonderful players having to end their season on the IL. That’s no way to end a season 🙁

  2. Mookie is a class act, and he has performed exceptionally well for the team since they signed him this summer. A team player all the way.

        • I meant this to appear after the comment by “I caught Drysdale” and definitely NOT the one by “Joe”.
          Hey Joe, what’s a “pod down south”? Sounds like you don’t like anything contemporary? That’s OK, I guess; everyone’s entitled to their opinions.

          • Thinking he meant the Padres. You remember them right? The ones who were supposed to challenge the Dodgers for the NL West. Instead we had to deal with a bunch of old guys on roids! Right Barry “Mr Needle” Bonds?

  3. This article, and Mookie’s comments, definitely align with my steadfast opinion that our Dodgers offense needs to step up. The Braves pitching has been stellar, but its our Dodgers’ (obvious) “poor approach at the plate” that has been as problematic. I have said it before and I will say it again, we are not down 3 games to 1 because of our defense. The Dodgers are not producing runs.
    Despite this, and until its no longer possible, I will continue to believe that the Dodgers can win this NLCS and make it to the 2021 World Series. GO DODGERS!!!

    • Agreed, but I wouldn’t say the Braves pitching has been stellar, honestly. The Dodgers are swinging at junk outside of the zone way too much. The Giants staff was stellar. This is an above average staff, but it’s not anything close to the Giants or Dodgers pitching staves. There’s not even an ace on this staff, even though Fried is a great pitcher. Their bullpen is average to above average (3.97 era for the season, Dodgers 3.16, Giants 2.99).

  4. Couldn’t agree more. The Dodger hitters (especially Seager, T, Turner, J. Turner, Pollack) have been pathetic. The media over-emphasizes the pitching failures and a fielding mistake, here and there. But the offense has been consistently the problem, not the solution.

  5. People, its OVER. We are done. We are not coming back from this. This is not 2020 all over again. We are not going to beat the Braves 3 in a row. Who are we going to pitch besides Sherzer? Buehler on short rest? Julio again. We needed more starting pitching which we do not have. Our bullpen is taxed. And most importantly we cant hit. Watching this series makes me sick because we clearly are not the better team. This series pretty much this whole season in which we can not drive in runs.

    Dodgers management has a lot of decisions to make in the offseason. Very unfortunate that chasing the Giants all year sucked the life out of this club. I am very disappointed how the team performed in the playoffs. Most disappointed in Trea Turner the batting champion although the rest of the team was no better. Not that I care, but I hope the Braves beat Houston in the World Series. A World Series I will not be watching. Baseball kind of sucks now.

      • You can stick a fork in the Red Sox. They ain’t winning two in a row in that little band box they call Minute Maid.

    • maybe its over maybe not. Win game 5 tonight and its possible Scherzer and Buehler, both of whom will be back with full rest are ready to go.

      I agree the biggest disappointment in the offense is Trea. You don’t win the batting title, and then fail to hit in the postseason. He may be better on D than Corey, but in the postseason his O is a lot worse than Corey’s. With all that speed there is no reason he shouldn’t be bunting for base hits every time up. or at least hit to oppo field, where the shift leaves the right side WIDE open!

      • Amen Joe! And that wisecrack mqarep saying he’s the best hitter in baseball pfft! If he is, then why as sh!t doesn’t he prove it??? Hmmm?

        • Seems like Trea just wanted the hitting title and when it was given to him, he could care less what happens during the Post season. Lost the desire to win! Totally disappointed.

    • Jose, best not write off a defending champ until actually eliminated! You might want to re-visit this page AFTER this weekend. Just sayin.

  6. Lots of costly decisions and a tough wild card, and playoff series w/ the Giants has the Dodgers arms gassed. But there were plenty of preventable things.

    1) Bringing in Urias in game 2 was a mistake if he was starting game 4. This is a guy with a personal high in innings pitched that they’ve protected his innings and pith count because of his past injuries. And with Trienen and Kenley available for the 8th and 9th, it made little sense beyond the lefty vs lefty matchups.

    2) Playing Lux in CF when he only had 10 games in CF under his belt. Especially in a day game in Dodger stadium. It has nothing to do w/ the result, and everything to do w/ the decision when you have a gold glove CF on your bench, Taylor w/ CF experience and Trae w/ CF experience. You could have just moved Lux to left if you really wanted his bat.

    3) Keeping the struggling hitters at the top of the lineup. If they were having good AB’s and just getting out or something, then you never move proven hitters. But if they look lost at the plate, expanding the zone, and making weak contact, you have to make moves.

    There’s more, but I’ll leave it at that. Just lots of mistakes compounded by poor play by the players.

    • look the Dodgers had to try something to get Lux on the field as he raked in September! So the thought was he could platoon with AJ. But Belli wasn’t hitting quite yet, so he ended up in CF. The ONLY reason he’s playing now is what happened to Max Muncy on the last game of the year! If the Dodgers knew Max would be out, they could have played Lux – a LIFELONG INF! – at first base. I think the learning curve there for a INF is a lot easier than moving to the OF. The with Gavin at first, Belli holds down CF. Win Game 5 guys so we can win this in 7!

  7. Hit em where they ain’t… And yet I see balls getting hit right into the shift. I guarantee you if there is no third baseman and you hit it there, easy base hit, guaranteed. Just imagine what Tony Gwynn would do…

    • Freddie Freeman, after 7 straight strikeouts, got out his slump going against the shift. Dodgers were you paying attention??? I don’t think so. Shame on you.

    • well they wouldn’t play shift D against him. But it would be fun to watch him DESTROY any team dumb enough to try it. Today’s MLB hitters are bombers and that’s it. No hitting to all fields. SMH!

  8. Roberts is totally responsible for this mess. When he pitched Scherzer in game 5 with S.F. he totally put the pitching for the Atlanta series out of sync. Pitching Julio in relief in the 2nd game in Atlanta was maybe the biggest mistake of the post season. All three of our starters didn’t have it for whatever reason and you don’t do that in post season. Roberts knows he was wrong and the proof is in the results but he will never admit it which shows how bad he has been since being named manager relative to picking the right personnel in critical situations. If he comes back next year, we will suffer through the same mistakes he has made for 6 years. The only way he should come back is if we pull this thing out and win the W.S. Just wait and see what excuses he uses if we lose. Yes, the team didn’t hit well all season with long periods of poor judgement at the plate, With the injuries and slumps all season, it was one of those years and Roberts was a big part of a season gone wrong.

  9. There is a bigger issued that nobody talks about. Pitching wins period. We lost May early, Bauer in the middle and then Kershaw. Three front line starters. Baseball also has a fundamental issue of too many games in regular season being played. There is an epidemic of TJS for pitchers and field players. Spring training 28 games in 30 days and then 162! Then MLB rushes the playoffs. Makes zero sense other than money. Give each series a week break allow the players to heal a bit and reset the pitching matchups so we get the best product and game dammit! No excuses for the Dodgers as they are riddled with key injuries’ and haven’t hit and yes every team deals with that. Bullpen games? Really? For a $200 million dollar payroll….. bullpen games… Congrats Atlanta

    • I wouldn’t mind seeing a shorter regular season and an expanded playoff one for sure. I really think it would produce an overall better product for consumption. Just sayin. Maybe like 120 game regular season. Would anyone really care? Only baseball purest’s might object. I think it would be a win win. Maybe they could discuss something like that in the next CBA. And do away with this god awful single game WC! 106w and no home field? Really?

  10. Well, here we are,
    We won the 5th game with great pitching and great hitting!! Now on to Atlanta and beat the Braves in the 6th and 7th games with Scherzer and Buehler. We should have no problem, we did it last year and we can do it again!!! I just hope Roberts doesn’t make any DUMB moves again!!!! LET’S GO DODGERS!!!!
    We have faith in you!!!?????????

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