This past weekend, Dodger rookies Matt Beaty, Alex Verdugo, and Will Smith became the first trio of rookie teammates to ever hit back to back to back walk off home runs in consecutive games in Dodger history.
Beaty’s walk off had an interesting story behind it. Beaty was sitting at the airport waiting for his flight back to Oklahoma City when he got the call that he would be needed for Friday’s game. So Beaty got his things and went back to Dodger stadium. The game went into the bottom of the 9th inning, even after Walker Buhler threw 9 innings with 16 strikeouts, the Dodgers found themselves tied 2-2. After Max Muncy drew a walk, Matt Beaty came up to pinch hit, and drove a ball just over the center field wall for a walk off 2-run home run. His clutch hitting earned him a spot on the roster for the rest of the weekend and possibly more playing time going forward.
Image: Dave Roberts celebrates with Matt Beaty after his walkoff home run / Photo Credit: Youtube.com
Saturday night, the Dodgers and the Rockies played to a 4-4 tie and had to go to extra innings. Hyun Jin-Ryu had another great outing, going 6 innings allowing 1 earned run while striking out 5 and bringing his season ERA to a minuscule 1.27 season ERA. Coming into his final at bat, Verdugo had already had one of the best games of his young career going 3 for 5 with a home run and 2 runs scored. He hit 2nd in the 11th and crushed a Jesus Tinoco pitch over the right field wall for his 2nd home run of the game and 7th of the year.
Image: Alex Verdugo cebebrates his walkoff home run / Photo Credit: LATimes.com
Sunday was a day game and went much differently from the previous two. The Dodgers found themselves trailing all the way until the 8th inning when Chris Taylor hit a 3-run home run to give the team the lead in the 8th. However the bullpen couldn’t hold that lead through the 9th, and going into the bottom of the 9th, the game was tied 3-3. Earlier in the day, the Dodgers had announced that David Freese would be going on the Injured List and would be expected to miss a couple of weeks of action due to the injury. This allowed for an open roster spot and the Dodgers choose to bring catcher Will Smith back to the big leagues. Smith had played well in his first stint up with the team, but had to be optioned back to Triple A after Austin Barnes had recovered from his injury. So, with two on and two outs in the 9th inning, Dave Roberts sent Will Smith to the plate, and he connected for a walk off 3-run home run, his 2nd career walk off home run and 2nd career home run overall.
Image: Dodgers celebrate after Will Smith’s walk off home run vs Rockies / Photo Credit: LATimes.com
This is an incredible feat that has never been accomplished before in major league history, but it speaks volumes to the talent and development happening in the Dodgers minor league system. The team has had two of the last 3 rookies of the year and had a rookie finish in the top 3 of the vote for the past 3 seasons. With players like Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buhler, and now the trio of Beaty, Verdugo, and Smith, the Dodgers future is looking extremely bright going forward for the next 5-7 years. It’s a very exciting time to be a Los Angeles Dodgers fan.