Mookie Betts debuts in SS

Jesse RogersESPN staff writer3 minutes to read

Mookie Betts plays shortstop for the first time in his career

Dodgers star Mookie Betts takes the field at shortstop for the first time in his MLB career after entering the game as a seventh-inning batter.

chicago – wednesday night, Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts was asleep in a hospital room in California. Twenty-four hours later — after the arrival of his infant — he was playing shortstop for the first time in his career after arriving at Wrigley Field during the first inning of the Dodgers’ final 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs. .

“It was like a dream come true,” Bates said afterwards. “I was recruited as a shortstop and haven’t seen him since 2011. I’m glad we won.”

Bates pinch-hit in the top of the seventh inning for Luke Williams, moving to right field before taking over in the shortstop for the rest of the game.

His first play was great. With the game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth, the Cubs had a winless first-and-two runners when Patrick Wisdom hit a ground ball behind second base. Bates caught it, came up on second and made a jumping throw to first on a 6-3 double play.

“He made it look really easy and sporty,” said manager Dave Roberts.

Bates added, “I grew up doing this, so it’s not new to me. It’s new to everyone else.”

The Dodgers lead off in the ninth on James Ottman’s grand slam, his second home run. It came after starter Michael Grove had to leave in the fourth inning with a groin strain, which first occurred when he slid in the bullpen during warmups. He will be tested on Friday and placed on the injured list.

“It was a 3 out of 10,” Roberts said of the injury, “but you’re talking about Rami.” “He assured us it was all right but in that fourth inning, I felt it again. We just wanted to pull the plug there.”

Grove didn’t feel the injury was serious either.

“Nothing crazy,” he said. “Just a little groin problem.”

Roberts did not rule out the possibility of bringing back Tony Gonsulin (right ankle) from rehab to fill Grove’s place and did not indicate that Bates would return to the field.

“I think that’s his goal in life, to be a shortstop in the league,” said Roberts, smiling. “I could see that happening more.”

In fact, with the loss of Miguel Rojas (hamstring) to the IL and Gavin Lux (ACL) this season, Betts may find himself on the court a lot more. He was asked if he had any nerves playing the position for the first time in a decade.

He replied, “A lot of nerves, but you accept it.” “You learn to play nervously. If I’m not nervous, that probably means I don’t like it… I don’t care where I play. I just want to win.”

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