Two of baseball’s biggest stars were on the field at Dodger Stadium on Friday night with Shohei Ohtani batting leadoff for the Los Angeles Angels, and Mookie Betts doing the same in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup while also playing second base for a third time in the past four games.
Betts won a sixth career Gold Glove in right field last year but has spent a fair share of time this season playing second base or shortstop. He not only has acclimated on the fly, but also excelled at playing middle infield.
“It’s incomparable,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts began when asked to contextualize what Betts is accomplishing. “I think the only comp is Ohtani, and what he does is incomparable.
“But I think if you’re talking about somebody who’s doing something that’s very unique, at a high level, it’s just very rare. You can plug him in at shortstop or second base, and the offensive production is superstar production. Mookie’s willingness, eagerness, to do whatever is asked of him is pretty incredible.”
Betts went 3-for-4 with one double, two home runs and a game-high four RBI in the Dodgers’ 11-4 win in the opener of the Freeway Series.
“I think Mookie’s energy, he’s really himself this year. It’s really fun to watch,” Roberts added.
“I think he’s continually getting more comfortable with us, but this is as comfortable as I’ve seen him, and it’s certainly showing on the field. I would say even that double, the game inside the game, it allowed us to stay away from Evan Phillips. So he’ll be available tomorrow. Those are things that matter not only tonight, but tomorrow as well.”
Betts now has 27 career multi-homer games, of which four have come this season. He again brushed up against MLB history by potentially setting the record with seven career three-homer games.
Betts currently is tied with Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa for six such performances.
Dave Roberts: Mookie Betts ‘modern day’ Rickey Henderson
When previously discussing how dynamic of a talent Betts is, Roberts compared him to former leadoff man extraordinaire Rickey Henderson.
“It’s the modern day Rickey Henderson. He’s instant offense,” Roberts said in June. “Getting in the box after we throw up a zero, he puts us up in the bottom of the first inning. Guys feed off that.”
Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!