Mookie Betts hits first Dodgers home run, but memorable night ends on sour note

There’s a reason the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Mookie Betts and gave him a $12-year, $365 million contract. In fact, there might be 365 million reasons.

We’d list them all if we could. But we’ll narrow it down to this: Mookie Betts is a human highlight reel. 

In Friday’s 5-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, we saw the damage he can do with his bat and his arm. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, we also saw how cruel baseball can be as Christian Walker’s game-winning three-run double sailed just beyond Betts’ glove in center field.  

Exhilaration and gut-punches. That’s baseball in a nutshell.  

The Good

It took eight games, but Betts’ first Dodgers’ home run was worth the wait.  

Just look at the bat speed, would you?

That Betts was able to hit that excellent pitch by Arizona starter Zac Gallen at all is incredible. To hit it 375 feet and keep it fair is why he’s considered one of MLB’s elite stars.

Betts did get off to a slower than expected start this season. He entered Friday’s game hitting .206/.270/.265. Sometimes, though, all it takes is one good swing to start a hot streak. Betts added a single and double later in the game, so it’s possible this home run did the trick.

The breathtaking

If you were impressed by the home run, just wait until you see this 305-foot throw to prevent Ketel Marte from leading off the first inning with a triple.

On the fly.

On the money.

Let’s also appreciate how far he ran to chase the ball before gathering and making that epic throw.

That ranks up there with some of the best throws ever made by Roberto Clemente, Jose Guillen, Vladimir Guerrero, Jeff Francouer and Rick Ankiel. Oh, and Mookie Betts. Yeah, he’s done this before.

Betts isn’t a one- or two-dimensional player. He’s a five-tool player. It’s possible his arm is his best tool.

The heartbreaking

After starting the game in right field, Betts moved to center field in the late innings.

Unfortunately, that’s when this happened.

Was it a bad route by Betts? Perhaps. We called him a human highlight reel earlier, so we’ll put some extra emphasis on the human part. Had Betts caught that ball though, it would have been a fitting cap to a memorable game.

The American League knows how good he is. The National League is about to learn that, too. Friday night might be where his path destruction begins.

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