2020 NLCS: Mookie Betts Takes Blame For Not Sparking Dodgers Lineup

When the Los Angeles Dodgers completed their blockbuster trade with the Boston Red Sox, Mookie Betts was touted as being a difference-maker for their World Series aspirations, even if he potentially would only be with the team for the 2020 season.

The uncertainty of his future was eliminated when the Dodgers signed Betts to a 12-year contract extension on the eve of Opening Day. He’s gone on to become their everyday right fielder and after some alternating, the leadoff hitter in the Dodgers lineup as well.

With Betts at the top, the Dodgers were one of the top offenses in baseball this season. However, that’s yet to fully translate to the postseason. L.A. had timely hits against the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres, only to largely go silent in the National League Championship Series.

Betts didn’t collect his first hit of the NLCS until a one-out single in the ninth inning of Game 2. It was part of a rally that saw the Dodgers score four runs but still come up short and they now trail the Atlanta Braves 2-0 in the series.

“I haven’t really barreled too many balls,” Betts said. “It’s obviously going to take all of us, not just me, and I understand that. But I also need to do my job, which is get on base and score some runs.”

Betts and the Dodgers have collectively stressed no one player is responsible for carrying a team that boasts a deep lineup. However, Betts readily accepted responsibility and blame for their recent struggles.

“I have to be a little more disciplined, try to swing at some strikes and put myself in advantage counts by taking some of those pitches below the zone. It’s definitely my fault for not being disciplined,” he said.

“I lead off, I have to take ownership. I haven’t done it these last couple games, so I need to get rolling and try to spark some energy.”

Mookie, Dodgers flummoxed by southpaws

The Dodgers have struggled against left-handed pitching over recent seasons, and that was the case most of this year for Betts and the team as a whole. It has carried over into the playoffs, and been an area the Braves have attempted to exploit.

“I don’t really know,” Betts said of his 2020 splits against southpaws being similar to the first two months of last season. “I guess it’s just kind of irony. I don’t really know.”

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