Mookie Betts Focused On Helping Dodgers Manufacture Runs In NLCS
Mookie Betts, 2021 NLCS
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers were on the verge of falling into a 3-0 deficit in the National League Championship Series until a four-run rally in the eighth inning lifted them to a 6-5 comeback win over the Atlanta Braves.

After Will Smith and AJ Pollock collected singles off Luke Jackson, Cody Bellinger delivered a game-tying three-run homer that sent the Dodger Stadium crowd into a frenzy.

Chris Taylor then added a single of his own and stole second base to get into scoring position. Mookie Betts cashed him in with a go-ahead RBI double that wound up serving as the decisive run.

“Obviously a stolen base right there is huge,” Betts said of Taylor taking second. “Just to get another guy up to the plate and give us two more chances instead of one.

“But C.T.’s been amazing. All year he’s just been a grinder, man. He just is a baller. It doesn’t matter how he’s feeling, he’s going to go and play no matter if he’s hurt, anything. So C.T.’s obviously someone that is kind of like an unsung hero. Everybody needs a CT on their team.”

The stolen base was Taylor’s third of the postseason. Betts also swiped a bag in the second inning and revealed after Game 3 that it has been a focus for himself. “I think it’s just an element of my game that I can put on display right now,” Betts began.

“It’s not like we’re just slugging and scoring a whole lot of runs, so we have to find ways to manufacture runs. Part of my game is stealing bases, so I’m just doing anything I can to help us win.”

With the Dodgers’ offensive struggles against the Braves pitching staff, it makes sense that they would want to implement stolen bases as part of their strategy.

Despite being middle of the pack in stolen bases during the regular season, L.A. has already swiped eight bags in three games against the Braves in the NLCS. Betts and Taylor each have three, while Trea Turner and Austin Barnes account for the other two stolen bases.

Betts credits Braves pitching staff

The Dodgers have scored just 13 runs in three NLCS games thus far, and though the offense is partly to blame for that, Betts believes the Braves pitching staff deserves most of the credit.

“You know, I think we have had some bad approaches. We’ve been in scoring position. We could always take the blame, but I think we should give some credit to those arms over there. They’re really good,” Betts said Game 3.

“I know Belli drives a Benz, but they drive Benzs too. So it’s tough. It’s tough to calm down and relax and try and get a good pitch to hit.

“But in the eighth right there when Belli comes through, I mean, I think it’s kind of a sigh of relief like we finally did it, and now it becomes contagious. And so I think that’s kind of how everything kept going, but today’s game is over, and we got to do it tomorrow.”

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