Much of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offensive struggles of late have been traced to Mookie Betts and Corey Seager being among those who are mired in a slump.
The Dodgers’ collective skid continued Friday night in a 9-2 loss to the L.A. Angels in the opener of the Freeway Series. The team left 10 on base and were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Seager was hitless in three at-bats, but did draw two walks.
Betts went 2-for-4 with a walk, double and home run. Betts started the night 0-for-2 before reaching in his final three plate appearances. The solo home run came in the ninth inning, when the game was well in hand.
“Mookie was good. Really good. I liked the walk, the double, hard contact, and the homer,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the loss. “You look at a game like this, you do try to find some positives. Mookie’s at-bats certainly are right there at the top.”
This season has been a struggle for the 28-year-old as he’s yet to establish any sort of consistency at the plate. Betts’ playing time has been interrupted by lower back stiffness and being hit by a pitch on the inside of his right forearm.
“I just think that right now Mookie is in between. He’s taking more balls in the strike zone than he normally does and he’s chasing more than he does,” Roberts said during the middle of the week.
“Anytime a guy does that, you can tell he might be thinking a little bit too much and be in between.”
Roberts: Betts, Dodgers have mental focus
Prior to flying out in his first at-bat against the Angels, Betts thought a pitch up the zone would be called for strike three and he began walking toward the dugout. That same inning, Seager was picked off first base, and on multiple instances Julio Urias walked off the mound with a belief he had thrown strike three.
Roberts dismissed the notion that those actions were indicative of a loss of focus. “With Mookie, I think he thought the same pitch earlier in the at-bat would’ve been called a strike because it was in the same part of the zone,” he explained. “So I don’t think that was a mental lapse.
“I think Julio thought the guy was struck out and walked off, so that was just something he thought it was a called strike. With Corey, you just don’t see that as far as on the bases. I think they’re isolated, and I don’t think it’s a lack of focus.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, participate in our shows and giveaways, and more!