Mookie Betts ‘Embracing’ Pressure Of Playing For Dodgers
Mookie Betts
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Mookie Betts has been everything the Los Angeles Dodgers hoped he would be when they completed a trade with the Boston Red Sox and then signed him to a 12-year contract extension. Whether it be with his glove, arm, on the basepaths or in the batter’s box, Betts has done a bit of everything.

That was again the case in the Dodgers’ 6-5 win over the L.A. Angels on Saturday night as he drove home two with a bases-loaded single to tie the game in the second inning. He then hit a game-tying solo home run in the seventh.

After a three-homer game in Thursday’s win over the San Diego Padres, Betts now has a team-leading eight home runs on the season to go along with a .309/.371/.679 batting line. He also figures to be a shoo-in for a fifth Gold Glove Award of his career at this rate.

Betts is used to playing in a pressure-filled environment after beginning his career with the Red Sox and winning a World Series. He’s been labeled as the difference-maker for the Dodgers but continues to downplay that notion.

“I don’t really think about the pressure aspect. It’s definitely there. I’m not going to necessarily say it’s not there, but I’m just embracing it,” Betts said. “I’m going in, playing my game, doing what I always do. Not trying to do more, not trying to do less.

“What I’ve always done has gotten me to this point so I just continue to do it.”

Betts is also already doing outstanding work in the local community as he and the Dodgers Foundation teamed up to host an event this weekend that provided essential items and voter registration services in Compton.

He really does do it all, and he is still just 27 years of age, making him the perfect player to lead the new crop of young talent in the Dodgers organization.

Betts comfortable in leadoff spot

The Dodgers have now won four straight games, which has coincided with Dodgers manager Dave Roberts moving Betts into the leadoff spot.

He had hit there some to begin the season, although primarily batted second against right-handed pitching with Max Muncy and Joc Pederson splitting leadoff duties.

Since moving back into the leadoff spot, Betts has become the ultimate table-setter he was in Boston when he won an American League MVP in 2018. He has mentioned it before and reiterated that he is most comfortable in the leadoff spot after Friday night’s win over the Angels.

“I’m more comfortable, definitely, in the leadoff spot,” he said. “But like I said, I’ll do anything it takes to win. Things seem like they’re rolling pretty good, we’re winning some games, and that’s the most important thing.”

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