We are getting to the point of the Dodgers season where it seems like every other day either Mookie Betts or Freddie Freeman are reaching some statistical milestone or another. Sometimes both of them in the same game.
Betts’ four runs batted in on Monday gave him 103 RBI on the season, tied with Charlie Blackmon (2017) for the most ever out of the leadoff spot. Betts’ 39th home run, which was also hit on Monday, tied Alfonso Soriano (2006) and George Springer (2019) for the most while batting first.
On Tuesday, Freddie Freeman had four hits on his birthday, including a home run and yet another double, his 55th two-bagger of the season. Freeman also scored four times, giving him 121 runs scored this season. Freeman has excelled on his birthday throughout his career.
Highest career OPS on birthday in MLB's modern era (min. 50 AB):— OptaSTATS (@OptaSTATS) September 13, 2023
1.287 - Lou Gehrig
1.156 - Freddie Freeman pic.twitter.com/K1q5jHSTud
Freeman and Betts both scored on a J.D. Martinez single in the eighth inning on Tuesday, the 120th run of the season for Betts.
These are only the fifth and sixth seasons scoring 120 or more runs for the Dodgers since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. Freeman and Betts are the first Dodgers 120-run duo since Maury Wills and Tommy Davis in 1962.
In franchise history, the Dodgers had multiple players score 120 runs in a season only 10 times:
- 1887: George Pinkney (133) and Jim McTamany (123)
- 1889: Darby O’Brien (146) and Hub Collins (139)
- 1894: Tom Daly (135), George Treadway (125), Mike Griffin (123), and Tommy Corocoran (123)
- 1897: Mike Griffin (136) and Fielder Jones (134)
- 1930: Babe Herman (143) and Johnny Frederick (130)
- 1945: Eddie Stanky (128*) and Goody Rosen (126)
- 1949: Pee Wee Reese (132*) and Jackie Robinson (122)
- 1953: Duke Snider (132*) and Jim Gilliam (125)
- 1962: Wills (130) and Tommy Davis (120)
- 2023: Freeman (121) and Betts (120)
*led National League
In the modern era (since 1900), the highest run total achieved by two Dodgers players in the same season is 130, by Herman and Frederick in 1930. With 18 games remaining, that seems to be within reach for Freeman and Betts.
The leverage was low with a seven-run lead in the eighth inning, but it was not exactly a soft landing spot for Kyle Hurt in making his major league debut. He had to face Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Juan Soto as his first three batters in the majors, and he dispatched them on nine pitches via a popout just outside the infield and two groundouts.
In the ninth, Hurt struck out all three batters he faced, finishing off the game with a ridiculous changeup to get Matthew Batten swinging.
Hurt, who was called up from Triple-A on Tuesday, with his two innings matched the longest major league debut by a Dodgers pitcher who didn’t allow a baserunner. It’s a group of only eight pitchers to do so, including Ismael Váldez among others.
Before Hurt, the last Dodgers pitcher with two perfect innings in their debut was Nick Robertson earlier this year on June 7 in Cincinnati, before Robertson was traded to the Red Sox in the Kiké Hernández deal.
Said manager Dave Roberts after the game, per SportsNet LA: “The way he performed, it was really special.”