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Mookie Betts Leads the Dodgers’ Stars With a Masterful Performance

Written by on October 21, 2020

Mookie Betts after his sixth-inning home run in Game 1 on Tuesday.

(NY Times) – The Dodgers overwhelmed the Rays in Game 1, with Betts showing off the consistent excellence that convinced Los Angeles to sign him to a 12-year contract.

On Tuesday, Betts became the first player in World Series history with a home run, two runs scored and two stolen bases in the same game. The Dodgers had seen him do it before, in August against Colorado, part of the sliver of a season in which he hit .292 with 16 homers, 39 runs batted in, 10 steals and a major league-best 3.4 wins above replacement, as calculated by baseball-reference.com.

Betts showed the kind of daring baserunning too often missing in the modern, risk-averse game. He stole second after drawing a leadoff walk against a tiring Tyler Glasnow in the fifth, then stole third — with Corey Seager swiping second — as Justin Turner struck out. Betts broke for home on Max Muncy’s grounder to first, sliding in safely, headfirst, ahead of Yandy Diaz’s throw.

In this World Series, the Dodgers have all the star power. The Rays are not a classic underdog — they were 40-20 in the regular season, the best record in the A.L. — but they look the part by comparison. Just one Tampa Bay player, starter Charlie Morton, has made multiple All-Star teams. The Dodgers have three former M.V.P. winners in Bellinger, Betts and Kershaw, and another, Seager, who has been a finalist.


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