The Dodgers snapped an 8-game winning streak last night in Houston as the offense failed to show up for the first time in a few weeks. Still, LA sits just one game behind the Padres in the NL West after quickly righting the ship out of a 5-15 stretch.
While things have gone well for the boys in blue, the struggles continue for the spark plug at the top of the order. On the season, Mookie Betts is batting under .250 with just 5 home runs in 40 games. It’s a far cry from the numbers the MVP runner-up posted in the shortened 2020 season.
Speaking with reporters this week, the outfielder admits that while things aren’t going his way at the moment, he’s trying his best to work through it.
“I think. I’m playing the best that I can,” Bill Plunkett reports. “I don’t have any excuses. Sometimes you just don’t play well. I’m not here to say this is why or this, that and the other. You’ve just got to accept it. But the team is winning. I’m doing what I can to help. … It isn’t very much but a little goes a long way.”
A little has given the Dodgers the second-best record in the National League even with that stretch where they lost 15 of 20 games. And we all saw in 2020 what a lot more can do when it comes to Mookie Betts — even if he labeled that season as “serviceable.”
Most people watching the team in 2021 would be quick to point out the injuries Betts has worked through over the first two months of the season. He’s dealt with a nagging back injury, a forearm issue, and most recently a sore shoulder.
But Mookie isn’t using that as an excuse.
“You’re never fully healthy. There are always nicks and bruises that go on during the season. If you can play around there, that’s plenty good enough.”
The numbers, however, see it as a viable excuse. Since missing nearly a week with that lower back issue, Mookie is hitting only .237 with a .772 OPS over 35 games. Dave Roberts has called him, at times, “timid” and not overly confident in what he’s swinging at, which syncs up with the eye test.
Admittedly, the bar is set high for Mookie…
“It doesn’t scare me at all. It’s just a matter of going out and living up to something that I feel like I can play at.”
He’ll come around.