Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled out a second consecutive dramatic win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night and avoided potentially going to extra innings thanks to a spectacular catch by Mookie Betts in the right-center field gap.
With two outs and the tying runners in scoring position, Tommy Pham hit a line drive that Betts immediately broke left on and sprawled out to make a game-winning catch. Making all the more impressive was Betts not only got to the baseball but held onto it in the palm of his glove.
“That play is really hard to make. Coming across, not in or back, for him to be able to do that is another reason why Mookie is the best,” Clayton Kershaw said. “It was a big catch, because extra innings would’ve been tough. That was huge.”
Betts shared his perspective of the play with Kirsten Watson on SportsNet LA:
“I mean, I just kind of blacked out. You’re just kind of in the moment and playing the game. I just know when the ball went up in the air I had to go catch it. That’s what I did.”
The highlight-reel moment came on a play that had a 10% catch probability. “It takes an elite defender in center to make that play,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “A lot of things have got to line up: the jump on the baseball, the line to the ball and still secure the baseball.
“There’s a handful of guys that probably could’ve made that play. It just speaks to that’s why he’s arguably the best all-around player in baseball.”
Justin Turner added: “It saved the game. Obviously he’s a guy that can change the game and impact the game in so many different ways. Whether’s that offensively, with baserunning, or like that catch to end the game, with his glove.”
Betts comfortable in center field
Under normal circumstances, the Dodgers presumably would have had Cody Bellinger in center field on Saturday night. However, he remains on the mend from a hairline fracture in his left fibula and that’s required Betts to man the position for the time being.
Despite missing a week due to lower back stiffness, Betts made it clear upon returning that he was capable — and willing — to play any position Roberts asked of him.
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