After emerging into an everyday center fielder and leadoff hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, the same was expected of Chris Taylor this season. However, he’s been unable to replicate the same success that led to earning co-MVP honors in the National League Championship Series.
Taylor’s strikeout rate has increased from last season, and he leads the NL with 166 strikeouts. Yet, Taylor has turned the corner in some regard and the latest example was his walk-off home run against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
It was Taylor’s 17th home run of the season and first ever walk-off. He called it the biggest hit of his career and explained why it outranked other notable homers, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“It’s a big series, the moment of the game, and it’s my first walk-off home run. In a tight division race, I just felt it was a big game for us to extend the lead.”
Off the bat, most are likely to recall the home run Taylor hit off Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel to lead off the bottom of the first inning in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series. Taylor also slugged a home run in Games 1 and 3 of the NLCS en route to sharing MVP honors with Justin Turner.
During the regular season, Taylor’s grand slam capped off a five-run rally in the ninth inning of a June 2017 road game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The grand slam was Taylor’s second of the season and third in his career. He said the dramatic moment caused him to black out when running the bases.
While the overall ranking of his homer on Tuesday can be debated, there is no denying the significance of it considering the Dodgers remain in a tight NL West race.