Build a list of enduring images from the National League Championship Series. At the top is likely a snapshot of Cody Bellinger, stopped at home plate Sunday night in Game 7, watching his kickoff take off. The next three memories might just be, like the Dodgers manager
The next three memories just might be, as Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “Mookie makes web gems every night. • World Series Game 1: mardi, 20 h HE / 5 PT sur FOX
In game 5:
With those three games, Betts blocked at least three points in the NLCS, and he gave the Dodgers a boost in their 4-3 win over the Braves in Game 7 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
“This guy is one of the best players in the game,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s so athletic with the things he can do.”
In terms of the absolute athleticism required, it would be difficult to rank any one of Betts’ holds against the others. A four-time Gold Glove Award winner who has led all of the NL right-wingers in saved defensive innings this season, Betts often make bizarre games look ordinary. And yet, his Game 7 catch was anything but routine, on a ball that would have been a homerun through nine Big League ball fields, according to Statcast.
When Freeman hit Blake Treinen’s field, Betts initially seemed to struggle to keep up with baseball as he flew 360 feet to the right. But he eventually found it and sprinted to the wall, expertly timing his jump to wind it up.
“Another spark,” was how teammate Corey Seager described the moment.
The effort brought to mind Betts’ capture in Game 6, when he jumped to rob Marcell Ozuna of a potential RBI brace in a similar part of the park. Betts also turned a minimal catch into a rescue double play in Game 5, when Ozuna was passed after breaking for home plate early trying to turn him into a sacrificial fly.
When asked which was his favorite, Betts replied, “I think home run theft because it was actually a home run. The others were going to stay in the park, but I think it’s more fun when they were going to cross the wall.
But Betts also gave points to their take in Game 6 as it prevented the tied point from scoring. This one certainly elicited the most emotion from Betts, who screamed and strutted running from the warning track.
There are no wrong answers here. Although Betts made no groundbreaking offensive plays in the NLCS, hitting .269 overall with four runs scored, a double, an RBI and a stolen base, he has always proven to be one of the most valuable players in the world. Los Angeles because of his glove.
When asked a second time about his three catches, Betts – who led the major leagues in the WAR version of Baseball Reference this season – paused before repeating that home stealing was probably his favorite.
Imagine having the opportunity to choose. Most players, even elite defenders, dream of making a post-season game-changing capture in their career. Betts made three in three days, and the Dodgers head to the World Series in large part because of it.
“He’s just crazy talent,” Snitker said. “I have the greatest respect for him.”