Dodgers News: Mookie Betts Ranks NLCS Catches

When the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox, they knew they were getting one of the most complete players in the game.

But what he has given them this postseason, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, cannot be matched as Betts has made a number of incredible catches that no other right fielders in the game can make.

That continued Sunday night in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series when he robbed Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman of a home run, tracking the ball down and timing his jump at the wall perfectly to keep a 3-2 deficit from becoming a 4-2 deficit.

Betts’ first series-saving play came in Game 5 when he made a shoestring catch to start a double play, which shifted the whole momentum of the NLCS. He then had another big play in Game 6 when he made one of the most athletic catches ever at the wall in right to rob Marcell Ozuna of at least an RBI double.

But it was taking a homer away from Freeman that Betts put at the top of his highlight reel. “It was a homer, so probably No. 1,” Betts said.

“But the one [Saturday] was probably the most important. We stopped some momentum there, for sure. But I think [Sunday] is probably my favorite since it was actually a home run.”

The stakes were obviously the highest in Game 7, but it’s hard to truly say which of Betts’ catches was the best considering the all had an insanely high degree of difficultly and came in big spots.

Luckily for the Dodgers, they will have Betts roaming right field in the World Series and for the next 12 years after he signed an extension before the start of this season.

Turner also makes game-changing defensive play

In addition to Betts, Justin Turner also came up big defensively in Game 7. With L.A. trailing 3-2 in the fourth inning, the Braves threatened to extend their lead with runners at second and third and no outs.

Nick Markakis hit a ground ball to Turner and he immediately came up firing home to get Dansby Swanson at the plate. Swanson began to retreat and started a rundown, which ended with Turner making a diving tag on him and then immediately getting up and firing a strike to third to get Austin Riley to complete a double play.

The Braves didn’t score another run after that, and the Dodgers worked their way back to earn the victory.

“That was huge. I didn’t even see the backside play. Once he dove and made the tag I thought the play was over,” Betts said of the play.

“They were still in pretty decent shape with first and second and one out. For him to have the presence of mind to dive, tag him and throw the guy out at third, that’s huge. And Seager, the MVP, being there in the right spot. That’s a big momentum shift, for sure.”

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