The Dodgers sealed a series sweep on Gigi and Kobe Bryant’s tribute before the game on Sunday. Players were wearing their Bryant jerseys pre-game, paying homage to arguably the greatest Laker of all time on his birthday. They played with the “Mamba Mentality” by demolishing the Colorado Rockies 11-3 and hitting seven home runs, including two from Mookie Betts. The Dodgers were on fire.
Corey Seager started the home-run derby in the first inning. In the bottom of the third Betts hit his first home-run of the game to left-center field. He has 11 home runs on the season and is now in sitting in second place for most in 2020.
Followed by Kike’ Hernandez’s home-run in the fourth inning, which led to threes runs. The Dodgers have one of the deepest lineups in the MLB, says Hernandez. “I don’t think there is a better 1-5 in all of baseball. When you got to grind through that 1-5, you tend to forget about the guys in the bottom of that order. I can’t tell you what the secret to the recipe is. We want to keep passing the baton, and today was the homer baton.”
During the celebration, he nodded and yelled, “Kobe.” He said, “It was a three-run homer, like when you shoot it, you yell KOBE.” Hernandez shared some thoughts on the late Bryant. “We lost Kobe a little too soon what he meant to the city, not only the city but the entire world. To see the impact he had not only basketball players but athletes and non-athletes, I think that tells you what type of person he was. He helped a lot of people. To be apart of something like that before the game was meaningful. It’s one of those things that I’ll always remember.”
Dodgers was comfortable with Rockies pitchers because they keep seeing them over and over states Hernandez. “We’re just trying to play good baseball, especially in our division. We’re trying to win the series and almost halfway there. We’re playing pretty good baseball right now.”
Once the Dodger started hitting home runs, they never looked back. It was a domino effect. Cody Bellinger states they always trust each other to get on base. Bellinger hit a homer in the sixth inning. Will Smith joined the home-run party in the seventh inning in his return to the field from an injury, followed by Max Muncy in the eight innings for his seventh home-run. The human highlight reel Betts sealed the deal with a final homer in the eighth, eighth inning. They ensured they would put on a magnificent performance for Bean. Dodgers could not stop hitting home-runs.
The Dodgers have the best record in the MLB at 22-8. Dave Roberts said, coming out of summer camp, they were prepared and focused. “You never know how it’s going to play out as far as wins and losses. I really felt good about the players we had and our preparation leading into the season. It’s good to see us playing some good baseball.” Dodgers have the momentum with 30 games left into the season. Roberts said it’s not about the results but about them playing as one.
The Dodgers felt special about winning on Kobe Bryant’s birthday and having his jerseys all over the locker room. “To see the Kobe eight jerseys and the 24’s in our lockers was special and for us to reflect on him on his birthday. He’s one of the greatest of all time. For us to sweep the Rockies and play good baseball, it couldn’t have been more special. The Dodgers did a nice tribute before the game,” said Roberts.