BOSTON (CBS) — What a home opener for Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts.
Betts stole the show on Monday in Boston’s 9-4 win over the Nationals in their Fenway Park opener, doing a little bit of everything. He robbed Bryce Harper of a two-run homer in the top of the first, stole a pair of bases on the same play after leading off the bottom half of the inning with a walk, and clubbed a three-run homer in the third inning to break the game open for Boston.
The expectations were through the roof for Betts leading into this season (heck, Rochie even made a hit single about the budding star), but he’s showing that he can certainly be a game-changer in the field, at the plate and on the base paths. Dan Roche and Tony Massarotti discussed Betts’ big day on Monday night’s edition of “Inside Baseball” on the WBZ-TV News at 10 on myTV38.
“Just look at the wide range of contributions he made in the first two or three innings,” said Mazz. “You’re talking about a great catch to take away two runs, two steals on the same play and a three-run homer that blew the game open. Defense, speed and power – what more do you want? This is why people like me don’t want to trade this kid for Cole Hamels or anyone else.”
“You’re starting to hear coaches say two things; athleticism and instincts. You can’t teach either of them, but the kid has both of them,” added Rochie.
“The most impressive part of the double steal to me was there was no hesitation. He was up, recognized it and went,” said Mazz. “He can see the situation developing before it even happens.”
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Betts is only hitting .233 on the season, but has at least one hit in five of Boston’s six games.
“He’s a dynamic player and he’s great to watch, and if he hits for any kind of power, you’re going to get a great contribution there,” said Mazz.
Rochie and Mazz also touch on a big no-no by Clay Buchholz on Sunday night in New York, and Joe Kelly’s bullpen-saving effort over the weekend. Tune in to “Inside Baseball” every Monday night on the WBZ-TV News at 10 on myTV38!