As if it were not already a memorable week for Mookie Betts, the Los Angeles Dodgers star can add a milestone as early as Saturday’s game against the visiting San Francisco Giants.
Betts is one home run away from 200 in his career.
Home run No. 199 came Thursday when his three-run shot in the eighth inning was the difference in a 9-6 victory over the Giants. That came two days after Betts started in right field for the National League in the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium. He drove in one of the NL’s two runs on a first-inning single.
Not only has his bat been on display this week, Betts made a diving catch in the right-field corner to end Thursday’s victory over the Giants.
“The guy’s one of the best in the game out there,” the Dodgers’ Trayce Thompson said of Betts. “He gets amazing jumps. As a defender, especially as a guy who has an infield background, it’s pretty incredible. … I don’t think any of us were too surprised.”
His teammates might consider him one of the best, but Betts is as modest as they come.
“That’s why it’s a team game,” Betts said. “You’ve got to pick each other up and we did that.”
Saturday’s game will be a battle of left-handed former teammates. The Dodgers will send Julio Urias (8-6, 2.89 ERA) to the mound, while the Giants will counter with Alex Wood (6-7, 4.20).
One of two Dodgers starting pitchers not named to the NL All-Star team, Urias was brilliant in his final outing before the break. He allowed one run over seven innings in a 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on July 16.
In 22 career appearances (16 starts) against San Francisco, Urias is 3-4 with a 2.45 ERA. He went six scoreless innings in a May 3 start at home against the Giants and had a season-best 10 strikeouts in a June 12 outing at San Francisco.
Wood, who was with the Dodgers for five seasons over two separate stints, is 0-3 with a 4.84 ERA in four starts against the club. His most recent outing against Los Angeles came May 4 on the road when he gave up three runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings of an eventual loss.
The Giants will have to work on their finishing kick after they rallied to lead by a run in the eighth inning Thursday and were tied in the eighth on Friday. Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam in the eighth inning Friday to give the Dodgers a 5-1 victory.
The Dodgers are on a six-game winning streak and have won 13 of their past 14, but the Giants remain undaunted.
“There’s no quit in this team, you can see that,” San Francisco’s Evan Longoria said. “Especially the wins we’ve had lately. We definitely need to, as an offense, get it going and take the pressure off the pitchers. If we can get going the first couple of innings and try and get ahead and relieve some of that, it’ll be a lot better for us.”
–Field Level Media