It’s still hard to believe this happened. That’s why you need to watch every pitch of every MLB playoff game. Missing a play like this is a sin.
In the top of the sixth inning of NLDS Game 2 on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Dodgers jumped out to a 6-1 lead thanks to a pair of two-run doubles from Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock. Felt good, right?
Well, if the Dodgers learned anything in 2021, it’s that no lead is safe against the division-rival San Francisco Giants, who came from behind to beat LA four times during the regular season.
And they got to work quickly in the bottom half of the inning, putting runners on the corners for one of their best hitters in Brandon Crawford, with Evan Longoria on deck. With two outs, Crawford poked an RBI single into right field, but Mookie Betts made sure not to let the Giants get ahead of themselves with a rally. He tracked down Crawford’s hit, saw Wilmer Flores was rounding second base in an attempt to swipe third, and unleashed a rocket to Justin Turner.
Mookie Betts’ wild throw during Dodgers-Giants is even better the next day.
On a fly! Right on target! The small window the Giants had to gain some momentum was slammed shut. They didn’t score another run. The Dodgers scored three more and won 9-2.
And his comment after the game? Badass.
We’re not saying if Mookie doesn’t make this perfect throw to kill San Fran’s rally that it would’ve resulted in more runs, but one swing of the bat from Longoria could’ve made this a 6-5 contest. Even a double could’ve made it 6-4. That’s an entirely different game.
Instead, the Giants were halted in their tracks before they could even really begin anything (the run on this play scored right before the out, so they couldn’t even fully celebrate it) and never came particular close to having another run cross the plate again.
The up-close and slow-mo version emphasizes the unthinkable aspects of Betts’ play. He threw the ball flat-footed on a spin move after Crawford’s awkwardly soft-hit single turned him around because he initially took a different angle toward the ball in an effort to make the catch.
Betts perfectly adjusted after the bounce, and now the Dodgers have home-field advantages in the NLDS. And we have another fully day to revel in this happiness.