After trading 12-1 victories on consecutive days, the Los Angeles Dodgers held off a late rally by the Texas Rangers to come away with a 5-3 win in the rubber match of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
Mookie Betts provided an immediate spark for L.A.’s offense, drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first and scoring on a Gavin Lux double to the left-center field gap.
Betts then led off the third inning with a home run that had enough carry to right field and stayed fair down the line. “It’s nice to see any type of success, especially at a time like right now,” he said after the big day at the plate.
“We’re kind of banged up, I haven’t really been playing very well. I’m just happy that I could help the team win.”
After exceeding lofty expectations with the Dodgers in 2020, Betts’ overall production has dropped this season. Despite putting up above league-average numbers, he doesn’t believe he has played to his standards.
“Obviously a lot,” Betts answered when asked how much frustration has built up inside him. “Nobody actively goes and tries not to play well. I just know I’m putting in a lot of work and doing everything possible to be successful and help the team.
“That’s the most important thing for me: find a way to help the team. I haven’t been doing that, but it’s definitely not from lack of effort. I just have to continue to put forth the effort, put forth the work and hopefully good things happen.”
Betts revealed his biggest focus when working on his swing is squaring the ball up. “Really just trying to get the barrel to the ball. I’ve been late a lot, hit a lot of ground balls and lazy pop-ups, so really just trying to get the barrel there and make some solid contact,” he said.
“I don’t necessarily know exactly what I need to do, which is kind of the frustrating part, but it’s part of the game. You have to find a way.”
Betts relying on video to instill confidence
Betts additionally revealed he has been watching old footage of himself in effort of recapturing his swing. “That’s your point of reference. Without that you’re just kind of winging it,” he explained.
“I’ve been looking at video a lot, but as you grow and get older, year by year things change, so it’s really just trying to understand what my body wants to do and kind of work with that.”
Betts has dealt with several injuries this season and admitted his body isn’t the same as it was a couple of years ago, but assured he is recovered. “I’m pretty healthy right now,” Betts said.
“Like I said, I’m just trying to understand where I’m at. Some days I’m tired, some days I’m not. The days I’m tired, I have to work with what I’ve got.”
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