On Saturday, the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to win back-to-back games on walk-off homers hit by a rookie, but why stop there?
Called up mere hours earlier, rookie catcher Will Smith piled on with a walk-off home run of his own on Sunday — his third homer in four games.
Knotted at three apiece in the bottom of the ninth, the Colorado Rockies intentionally walked Russell Martin to get to closer Kenley Jansen’s spot. Smith came up to pinch hit and made them pay by launching a 1-0 hanging slider 386 feet over the right-center fence for the win.
The bomb was Smith’s third in just 24 plate appearances and his second walk-off of his brief career. He also ended a game on June 1 with a solo shot to left-center in his fourth ever game.
Smith’s homer wrapped up a dramatic series against the Rockies. On Friday, sophomore starter Walker Buehler struck out 16 without issuing a walk in a complete game but didn’t get enough run support until Matt Beaty’s ninth-inning two-run homer. Then on Saturday, Alex Verdugo ended a marathon game after 11 innings with a 362-foot shot to right.
Smith isn’t just swinging a hot bat, he’s also considered a key part of the Dodgers’ future. Although he’s rated behind fellow Dodgers catching prospect Keibert Ruiz, he entered the season ranked highly by ESPN (79), FanGraphs (80) and Baseball America (95).
Hugs for the MVP favorite in Chavez Ravine
Smith stole the spotlight with his big hit, but fans showed their appreciation for MVP heavyweight Cody Bellinger earlier in the game as well — although perhaps they showed it a little too much.
During the middle of an inning, a young woman jumped onto the field and ran towards Bellinger in right field. She eventually asked for and gave Bellinger a hug before being tackled by security guards.
“It’s definitely odd,” Bellinger said after the game. “She got tackled, and I said, ‘You know you’re going to jail?’ She said, ‘Yeah, I know.’ She said it was worth it, so I guess, but maybe not for her parents.”
After that incident, the crowd broke out into MVP chants. The 23-year-old’s 5.3 WAR this season is tied with Mike Trout for the league lead, and he is slashing .353/.447/.706 overall with 25 home runs.
Unfortunately, Bellinger was also involved in a scary incident in the first inning of the game when a foul ball off his bat struck another young fan in the head. She had to be taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons but was awake and stable condition.
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