Mookie Betts’ defensive gem supplies momentum increase for Dodgers

Mookie Betts knew diving for the ball could be a mistake.

As Dansby Swanson’s bloop to proper discipline within the third inning descended, Betts reached towards his toes and caught it. His throw to residence plate was late, but it surely didn’t matter: a replay problem decided Marcell Ozuna had left early from third base and was out on attraction, negating the Braves’ third run of the sport.

The Dodgers had their momentum shift in what turned a 7-3 victory over the Braves in Recreation 5 of the NLCS on Friday in Arlington, Texas.

Corey Seager’s homer main off the fourth sliced the Braves’ result in 2-1. Which to the Dodgers sounded a lot nicer than 3-0.

“We have been in a position to get a cease,” Betts mentioned, referring to his catch. “[Thursday] we couldn’t cease the bleeding and immediately we have been in a position to get a cease proper there and put some strain proper on them.”

Betts downplayed his catch because the turning level of the sport, as an alternative pointing to Max Muncy’s stroll within the sixth that preceded Will Smith’s three-run homer off lefty reliever Will Smith that put the Dodgers forward for the primary time.

However Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts maybe put Betts’ play within the correct perspective.

Mookie Betts makes a lunging catch in the third inning of the Dodgers 7-3 Game 5 win over the Braves.
Mookie Betts makes a lunging catch within the third inning of the Dodgers 7-3 Recreation 5 win over the Braves.AP

“We’ve had loads of nice performs this yr, however if you’re speaking a few momentum shift, that’s the play of the yr for me,” Roberts mentioned. “The chance of catching that baseball, the place Joe [Kelly] was at, the sport rating, doubtlessly having to go to [Blake] Treinen proper there, to get that double play, for me that was the play of the sport.”

The numbers say Clayton Kershaw is a postseason disappointment, however his supervisor doesn’t wish to hear it.

Earlier than the Dodgers confronted the Braves on Friday, Roberts once more defended his ace, who allowed 4 runs over five-plus innings the earlier evening. Kershaw, a three-time Cy Younger award winner, is 11-12 with a 4.31 ERA lifetime within the postseason.

“There’s different occasions when you’re speaking about quick relaxation the place individuals these days simply don’t do it and he’s completed it quite a few occasions,” Roberts mentioned. “And different relievers giving up his runs. There’s simply loads of issues that go into simply pinning on Clayton that he’s not a postseason pitcher. I simply know that there’s not a staff that wouldn’t need him taking the ball within the postseason.”

Braves supervisor Brian Snitker prefers the standard LCS format that features off days to the alignment this yr, which may have the groups enjoying seven straight days. The off days have been eradicated to streamline the postseason, attending to the World Sequence quicker. The World Sequence will embody the standard days off following Video games 2 and 5.

The flip aspect of eliminating the off days is groups don’t must journey this yr due to the playoff bubble.

“I feel having off days is much less taxing,” Snitker mentioned. “The journey, we’re so used to that, it doesn’t hassle us. This can be a grind right here, this seven days in a row. It taxes you, that’s for positive. I feel having the time off clearly from a pitching standpoint is sweet, as a result of when you get to the place you’re going [with travel], you’ve all day to relaxation, so you’ll be able to catch up a bit of bit.”

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