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Mookie Betts has to be better against Astros in ALCS and he knows it

John Tomase
October 12, 2018 - 2:38 pm

A three-game slump in the regular season wouldn't even merit a shrug. A three-game slump in the playoffs means presumptive AL MVP Mookie Betts has to explain what's wrong.

Such is life for Betts after a disappointing ALDS against the Yankees that saw him go 3-for-16 with three runs. And though Betts did produce some loud outs, the numbers are the numbers, and he's got to answer for them.

"I think it's just one of those things where I have to kind of embrace it," he said. "If I have to go out and be one of the producers, then I have to go do it, no matter if you try to push to it the side or not. It's just one of those things where I know I have to go in and do something and help the team win in some way. And if it's getting three hits, then cool. If it's making a nice play in the outfield, that's fine, too.

"So I'm just going to do whatever I can to help the team win. And I think we have a bunch of guys here that can do something to help the team win, so it's just one of those things where I don't feel so pressured to do everything. But I know I have to do something."

Betts discussed how different it feels for the Red Sox to have advanced to the ALCS against the Astros after two straight first-round exits. "It's a good different, you know?" he said.

But he also knows he must deliver more than the .188 average and .566 OPS he produced in the ALDS.

"I think just the sense is that, you know, we have a limited amount of games, I think, so if you don't get it done now then it's never," he said. "And where during the season you have 162 to get it done. So I guess there is some sense of pressure there, but I have to understand that I can only do what I can do."

Betts led the league in average (.346), slugging (.640), and runs (129), while compiling a 1.078 OPS during the regular season.