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Dodgers: Mookie Betts Trying to Break Out from Slow Start to 2021



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.”

Related: Dave Roberts Reveals Mookie Betts is Dealing With Sore Left Shoulder

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.

NEXT: Big Cody Bellinger Update, How LA Can Get MVP Belli Back

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

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  1. They better get their players back soon. That lineup last night was pathetic. 7,8,9 hittes were basically 3 lost innings. Neuse got a nice hit but they are few and far between. AP looked horrible swinging and Mookie seems to have lost it! Never got the rh bat or the shut down closer we needed.Padres,Giants,and Astros offense are so much better than ours. Hope I’m wrong but this could be a long season!

    • Well if you hope you’re wrong you just might be. Dodger offense is fine – came up against great pitching yesterday. No team is going to win every game. Our closer is fine, our starting pitching is the best, and we have yet to see Mookie or for that matter Belli (coming back soon from early season injury) light it up consistently. So far so good. Dodgers are the #2 team in all of MLB. Dodgers need to win 3 out of 4 games this weekend against the Giants. Play Ball!

  2. I don’t see how betts holds up physically for the duration of his contract.
    We have this guy for 12 more years at 30+ milllion a season.
    Big long contracts always turn out bad for the team.

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