If the season ended today, Mookie Betts would finish with some of the worst offensive numbers of his career. The Dodgers outfielder got off to a slow start during his second year in Los Angeles but is looking to turn things around.
On Thursday afternoon in Pittsburgh, Mookie did just what manager Dave Roberts predicted a few days before: he went deep. It was the first homerun for the Dodgers outfielder since mid-May and just his 6th of the year.
But it all comes back to what Doc talked about after the game. The Dodgers skipper knows that Betts is doing all of the right things and still making an impact on games, even when his numbers don’t necessarily reflect it.
I know it’s trite but it’s a long season and all it takes is a little hot streak and all the numbers are corrected and where his normal line is. He goes out there and like a lot of our players every night he does something to help us win, whether it’s take a walk, score a run, make a play defensively and assist or like today a homer. He still makes us a lot better when he’s in the lineup, makes me look like a good manager.
Betts went 2-for-4 with a homerun and a single in Thursday’s win. He stole a base and also made a ridiculous throw home to nab a runner on a double play. But the biggest thing was that he squared some balls up. Betts had exit velocities of 106.6 mph and 91 mph to help propel the Dodgers to a win.
Roberts also talked about health being a factor in Mookie’s season. He’s been able to avoid any IL stints, but he’s certainly been banged up, like many Dodgers. He dealt with back and shoulder issues, as well as being hit hard on the forearm.
I see him looking healthier. But I think for me more of it is in the batter’s box, I just think he’s way more aggressive as opposed to being passive – which, in my opinion, I feel that the last month he’s been more passive than he needs to be.
Mookie Betts won’t be held down for long. And as soon as the Dodgers can get him going in the right direction, things are going to be very tough on opposing pitchers. With Bellinger and McKinstry back, he can get some more scheduled rest over the next few weeks.
That might be the key to getting him healthy and crushing the ball.