The Los Angeles Dodgers officially secured a playoff berth and moved to within one game of clinching the National League West title with a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks, while Mookie Betts joined the franchise record book.
With a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning, Betts blasted a three-run home run for his 34th long ball of the season.
All 34 of Betts’ home runs have come while batting first in the lineup, which set a Dodgers franchise record for most home runs out of the leadoff spot in a single season. The previous record belonged to Joc Pederson, who hit 33 while leading off in 2019, and 36 total that season.
Betts previously set a new career high with 33 home runs, surpassing the 32 he hit during his 2018 American League MVP season with the Boston Red Sox.
While Betts is having the best power season of his career, it’s not something he cares much about. “It doesn’t matter at all,” he said after reaching a new career high in home runs.
“I don’t care about it. It is what it is. Like I said, I always just do whatever I can to help us win.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has attributed Betts’ power numbers to finally getting a full and healthy season with the team after only playing 60 total games due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic his first season with the Dodgers and dealing with multiple injuries in 2021.
Don’t expect Dodgers pool celebration if they clinch in Arizona
The Dodgers have a chance to wrap up the division race with a win on Tuesday or Wednesday against the Diamondbacks, but a loss from the San Diego Padres on either day would also clinch the NL West in their favor.
The Dodgers previously clinched at Chase Field in 2013 when the team celebrated their NL West title by sprinting from the clubhouse to jump into the pool, which ended up angering the Diamondbacks organization and their fans.
If the Dodgers clinch the 2022 NL West title during this week’s series at Chase Field, Clayton Kershaw said not to expect a repeat of the pool celebration.
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