At this point it’s more of a surprise when Corey Seager or Trayce Thompson doesn’t come up with a big hit in a key moment. However, their uncanny knack to deliver has nonetheless led to awestruck moments.
Such was the case Tuesday night when Thompson lined a walk-off solo home run over the left field fence with two outs in the ninth inning. “I didn’t know I hit it enough to go out,” he said after the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory.
“I always try to run hard out of the box, so I just tried to get into scoring position. Then I saw the outfielder kind of give up on it and luckily enough it went out. I never really slowed down and all of a sudden I was at home.”
The walk-off home run was Thompson’s second of his career. The first — hit May 10 against the New York Mets — also came with two outs in the ninth inning; though it was as a pinch-hitter for Kenley Jansen.
“There’s not really any better feeling,” Thompson said of his walk-off success. “I was just trying to hit the ball hard, that’s all I ever try to do. It was a fun moment that happens really fast.”
The Dodgers jumped on Colorado Rockies starter Eddie Butler for three runs in the first inning behind a Justin Turner home run that followed a pair of walks. However, the right-hander then settled in. Los Angeles managed just three baserunners against Butler over the next five innings.
“I don’t mean any disrespect to him, but I think he’s effectively wild,” Thompson said. “He’s got great stuff, so you have to make sure you really get a pitch in the zone to hit. You just have to tip your cap, he did a great job.”
Entering play on Wednesday, Thompson leads the Dodgers in slugging percentage (.566), on-base plus slugging (.922), wRC+ (151) and wOBA (.391). He’s second on the team with 10 home runs, and fourth with 22 RBIs.
Being put in a high-pressure situation is something the 25-year-old outfielder welcomes. “I feel like the reward of having success far outweighs the (risk) of failure, and I’m not scared to fail,” he said.
“I feel like that’s the only way you can have success in this game. I want to be that guy the other team fears in that situation, and my team has confidence in in that situation. I’m sure I’ll have plenty more times when I fail but that’s not going to stop me from wanting to be that guy.”