Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Downplays 1,500 Career Hits

Mookie Betts added to his remarkable start to the season with a fifth home run on Tuesday night to help lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a win over the San Francisco Giants and reach a personal milestone in the process.

Betts’ third-inning blast off Giants starter Logan Webb tied the game, further elevated his on-base plus slugging percentage and gave him 1,500 career hits. But the 31-year-old wasn’t focused on celebrating the achievement.

“I think my wife is probably more sentimental about it than I am,” Betts said. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to get the ball or not, but hopefully I’ll be able to get to 3,000 and I’ll definitely keep that ball.”

Betts is batting .500/.605/1.167 and leads all players in several offensive categories through eight games this season. It’s a remarkable level of production under any set of circumstances, but especially so with Betts learning to be an everyday shortstop.

“Work,” answered Betts when asked what’s fueling his success. “I don’t know. Just work. Showing up, wanting to win ballgames and working hard. There’s nothing really else to point to.”

The seven-time All-Star is still finding ways to redefine himself and be a key cog to what makes the Dodgers lineup go. That sentiment is clear early this year, as the team is averaging 6.5 runs per game.

Having the ability to put up big innings is something the Dodgers have done for several years, and the addition of Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman’s consistency, coupled with Betts’ hot start signal it could be even better.

“It’s a long season,” Betts noted. “We’ve just got to continue to work hard, have good at-bats, play the whole game, put pressure on them and see what happens.”

The season is still extremely early, but Betts’ run isn’t lost on Gavin Lux, who also believes in what the leadoff man does for the team.

“He sets the tone, sets the table,” Lux said. “First at-bat of the game, he barrels a ball and it goes over the fence, 1-0. Just stuff like that, he sets the tone and gets us going, for sure.”

Mookie Betts career stats to 1,500 hits

Betts’ home run brought him to the halfway point in the hunt for the elusive 3,000-hit club, and consistent availability and production has the former MVP seemingly with a realistic opportunity to reach it.

On June 28, 2014, Betts was called up by the Boston Red Sox for his MLB debut. In his first at-bat against New York Yankees starter Chase Whitley, he singled to center field.

Betts would hit his first big league homer a few days later on July 2, and on Tuesday he smashed the 257th home run of his career. Betts has taken a level of consistency and elevated it throughout his time in the Majors, making him not only a defensive wizard, but an all-world piece at the top of a lineup card.

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