ARLINGTON, Texas – Mookie Betts jumped high against the eight-foot wall in right field, landing on an advertisement with the word “Extreme.”
His catch that robbed Marcell Ozuna to end the fifth inning with a runner on was extreme, just like the running, shoestring scoop the Dodgers star made a night earlier that started a double play and took an Atlanta run off the scoreboard.
Betts knew what he had accomplished. Head raised and bobbing back and forth, mouth open wide as he screamed and face flush with emotion, he held the ball at his midsection and he took a few gallops toward the plate before joyfully throwing the ball back in.
“That’s a huge spark. That’s an unbelievable play by an unbelievable player in a big moment,” shortstop Corey Seager said. “That's what you need to win baseball games at this time of year.”
Walker Buehler stood near the mound, his right hand forming a triumphant fist, arm held high.
“I'm glad we had a right fielder out there, especially a special one like Mookie Betts,” Buehler said.
Moments like this were what Los Angeles hoped for when it acquired the four-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner from the Boston Red Sox in February.
“He just impacts the game in so many different ways,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Walker was kind of stressing a little bit.”