HomeSportsShohei Ohtani gets the winning goal in the Dodgers' walk-off win

Shohei Ohtani gets the winning goal in the Dodgers’ walk-off win

Shohei Ohtani was given an impromptu shower at second base on Sunday afternoon, with his teammates dousing him with two buckets of water after the slugger lined a two-out, runscoring single to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning to end the lead . Dodgers to a 3-2 walk-off victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

New Dodgers left-hander Anthony Banda, acquired for cash from Cleveland on Friday, set the stage for the dramatic victory when he left the automatic runner in the top of the 10th by striking out Mike Ford with an 83-mph cut fastball. causing Jeimer Candelario to ground out to third base and Jake Fraley to ground out to first base.

With automatic runner Jason Heyward on second to start the bottom of the 10th, Kiké Hernández hit a bunt attempt to the catcher. Pinch-hitter Will Smith walked and Mookie Betts flied out to center field, but Ohtani came through with a clutch hit off Reds closer Alex Diaz to send a sellout crowd of 52,656 home at Dodger Stadium happy.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth when Freddie Freeman singled and Andy Pages jumped on a first pitch, 80 mph slider jump from Reds starter and former Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High star Hunter Greene, and a 100 home run meters inwards. the foul pole in left field for his fifth home run.

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The Reds cut the lead in half in the fifth when Stuart Fairchild doubled to left field and scored on Santiago Espinal’s RBI double over the head of left fielder Teoscar Hernández.

Dodgers right-hander Landon Knack, who gave up one run and three hits in 4 ⅔ innings of a spotty start, retired No. 9 hitter Luke Maile with a 90-mph fastball and was pulled in favor of left-hander Ryan Yarbrough. which got Will Benson to line out to Betts, who made a leaping grab at shortstop to end the inning.

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Cincinnati didn’t need a hit to tie the score in the seventh. Jonathan India led off with a walk, and Fairchild pushed a bunt toward first base. Yarbrough grabbed the ball, turned and fired a throw to first base, but no one was home, Freeman charging from first base and second baseman Gavin Lux too far away to reach the bag.

Yarbrough’s throw sailed into right field and caused an error, putting runners on second and third base with no outs. Espinal popped out to first base, and pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called on left-hander Alex Vesia to face pinch-hitter Spencer Steer, who walked nine pitches and drove in a run for a 2-2 tie. Vesia prevented further damage by striking out Elly De La Cruz with an 85 mph slider and allowing Mike Ford to jump to third base.

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Betts was back in the top spot on Sunday after a planned – and what looked like an opportune – day off, his first of the season, Saturday evening.

Betts, who was moved from right field to second base and from second base to shortstop over the winter — a position he hadn’t played regularly since high school — beat himself up in early March after making his sixth error of the season and dropped a potential mistake. double play in Friday night’s 7-3 win over the Reds.

“Making mistakes really, really bothers me,” said Betts, whose fourth-inning throw on a Spencer Steer grounder upset first baseman Freddie Freeman on Friday night. “You just gotta be better than that, man. It doesn’t just affect me. It influences [James] Paxton, who needs to throw more pitches. I just have to keep working.”

Only four shortstops – Cincinnati’s Elly De La Cruz (10), Pittsburgh’s O’Neil Cruz (eight), Tampa Bay’s Jose Caballero (seven) and the Chicago White Sox’ Paul DeJong (seven) – had more errors than Betts who took part in the competition on Sunday.

But Betts also ranked third among major league shortstops with four defensive runs saved according to Fangraphs, behind Bobby Witt Jr. of Kansas City (eight) and Masyn Winn of St. Louis (seven). That was little consolation to Betts, based on his evaluation of his defensive performance this season.

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“I don’t think it’s been very good, but it is what it is,” Betts said. “It’s a work in progress. It’s the first time I’ve done it in a long time. You have to start somewhere, and at least for me, because I feel like I’m at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up from here.”

Roberts begged to differ.

“I think his defense has been great,” Roberts said. “It will probably never live up to its standards, and that’s what makes it great. If we adopt this, it won’t be linear. He’s his toughest critic, so I expect he’ll be frustrated. But I am happy with him.”

The 6-foot-4, 175-pound Betts works his defense extensively before each game, taking dozens of ground balls and live molds to each side and making long throws to first base and shorter double-play feeds to second base.

But if Betts starts to wear down because of the extra work, it isn’t reflected in his production: He entered Sunday with a .341 average, an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.003, eight home runs, 11 doubles and 29 RBIs in 47 games, and he led the National League with 40 runs and 33 walks.

“I don’t expect the pre-game workload to last all season… but I think if anyone can handle it, he can,” Roberts said. “I think he’s been really good offensively, and defensively he continues to get reps. He has [exceeded] everything I expected from him at this point at shortstop.

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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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