Friday night was a really big moment for Dodgers outfielder Steven Souza Jr. Not only did he hit a big homerun and make an incredible catch down the line, but he did it in a place that almost ended his playing career.
The last time Souza was at Chase Field, it resulted in a devastating knee injury that derailed everything. He slipped on home plate in 2019 during an exhibition game and missed that entire year. Since then, he’s bounced around with a few teams before landing with the Dodgers.
But that homerun was huge for the Dodgers and for him. As the ball cleared the fence in left field, the emotions and energy were very clear for Souza, who shouted towards his dugout as he rounded first base. As it turns out, he was almost too excited.
I almost missed first base. I don’t think I’ve ever done that in my career. But I looked into the dugout and the boys were so fired up that I was so fired up with them. Luckily, I touched first base. I didn’t want to pull a Ke’Bryan Hayes and miss it and count it as a single. That would have been no good.
Dodgers fans obviously saw Pirates’ third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes miss first base on a homerun earlier this month. But Los Angeles was apparently pretty close to being on the negative side of that. Luckily, he didn’t miss it and LA took the lead late int he game.
It was Souza’s first homerun with the Dodgers since being called up earlier this week. It’s unclear what sort of role he will play when Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger return next week, but at the very least, he will continue to be veteran depth at the minor league level.