Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Will Smith hits home run history in Dodgers' weekend streak

An elite catcher, Will Smith ties MLB record with home runs in four consecutive at-bats, solidifying his place in the Dodgers history books.

Jul 6, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) celebrates with first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) after hitting a two-run home run in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby LeeUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

When Will Smith inked a 10-year, $140 million extension with the Dodgers before the season, he knew he had a golden chance to etch his name among the great catchers in the franchise’s storied history. The Dodgers have long been synonymous with star backstops, and Smith is already making his mark. His three-homer game on Friday saw him join the elite company of Roy Campanella, Mike Piazza, and Yasmani Grandal, as only the fourth Dodgers catcher to achieve this feat.

But Smith didn’t stop there. He continued his power surge by launching a two-run homer in the first inning on Saturday against Freddy Peralta, leading the Dodgers to a 5-3 victory over the Brewers at Dodger Stadium. This blast marked his fourth consecutive at-bat with a homer, tying the AL/NL record. Smith is the first Dodgers player to achieve this since Adrián González in 2015, and only the third catcher in AL/NL history, alongside legends Johnny Bench and Benito Santiago.

“I’ve always been a guy that tries to stick to my approach, whatever it is in that moment,” Smith reflected. “Stick to it and hopefully, good things happen. They don’t always happen, but yeah, I was able to get us two runs.” Smith almost made more history in his second at-bat but fell just short as Blake Perkins caught his deep fly ball at the warning track. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts lauded Smith’s consistency, saying, “He’s just so consistent and he just doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves of being one of the top two catchers in the game.”

Coming into this weekend, Smith hadn’t been his usual offensive force, with only two homers since June. However, Roberts praised his resilience and commitment to pushing through tough times. This grit is part of why the Dodgers secured him for the long haul. Smith’s ability to turn games around, as he did with four homers in 24 hours, only underscores his value.

“I know that he’s thrown out a lot of hits and had a lot of big games and big series, but to be able to use the whole field, take the walks when he needs to, they’re running some good arms at him and he’s still controlling the zone,” Roberts added. “Even his outs are really quality at-bats.

While Smith set the tone offensively, it was Miguel Vargas who delivered the decisive blow. Tied at 3 in the eighth inning, the Brewers brought in left-hander Bryan Hudson, who’s been having an All-Star-caliber first half after being picked up following his release by the Dodgers. Vargas, called off the bench by Roberts, responded with a solo homer just out of Christian Yelich’s reach, giving the Dodgers a 4-3 lead. Shohei Ohtani added an insurance run with his NL-leading 28th homer of the season.

“It feels great,” Vargas said. “I’ve been patient. I’ve been working on myself, trying to get this type of opportunity. I’m grateful to have it and be successful.” After being called up from Triple-A on June 17, Vargas has seen limited playing time, a point of contention considering the struggles of other Dodgers players. However, with Max Muncy recovering from an oblique injury and Jason Heyward sidelined with a knee issue, Vargas is expected to see more action in the outfield and possibly at third base. Starting again on Sunday, Vargas is eager to capitalize on these opportunities. “A hundred percent, it’s hard to do,” Vargas admitted, regarding his limited playing time. “But at the end of the day, this is a team sport. That’s why we do it. That’s all I can control is to worry about myself and be ready when the moments come.”