MemberOctober 14, 2020 at 7:36 pm
The Los Angeles Dodgers absolutely dominate the Atlanta Braves in game three of the National League Division Series, riding an eleven run first inning and five home runs to a 15-3 blowout.
With the Dodgers playing as the away team, Mookie Betts attacked Kyle Wright’s first pitch and hit a chopper up the third base line. Johan Camargo fielded it and made a running throw across the diamond to a stretching Freddie Freeman, seemingly nabbing Betts at 1st. After a challenge, it was ruled that the hustling Betts was safe. On the next pitch, Corey Seager smacked a double into the gap, and Betts’ great base running scored him easily, giving LA the much needed early lead, 1-0. Wright bounced back and worked ground-outs of Justin Turner and Max Muncy, but Will Smith crushed a line drive into center, landing just out of the reach of Christian Pache. Smith slid into second safely with a double that put the Dodgers in front 2-0. Cody Bellinger kept the line moving with a walk, and Joc Pederson launched a three run home run into the opposite field gap to make it 5-0. On the next pitch, Edwin Ríos — in his first plate appearance September 30th — crushed a solo shot to dead center, adding another. Wright then walked Chris Taylor, and he was pulled. Grant Dayton relieved him and immediately issued a walk to Betts. Seager, again, swung at the first pitch he saw and singled to center to make it 7-0. Dayton subsequently hit Turner on the foot, loading the bases with still two-down. Dayton battled back to a full count after falling behind three balls and no strikes, but Muncy hammered a towering grand slam to give his team 11. Dayton got Smith looking to finally end a historic top half of the first, where LA’s eleven spot sat alone in the MLB Postseason books as the the most in a single inning. After an extended rest following his amp-up pregame seshion, Julio Urías finally took the mound in the Braves half. Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freeman both earned walks, but Urías responded with a strike-out of Marcell Ozuna and a weak pop-out of Travis D’Arnaud. Ozzie Albies stayed on top of Urías’ high fastball and hit it deep into center; however, Bellinger ran backwards and leaped at the wall to make an impressive run-saving catch, ending the first inning. Dayton threw three straight balls to open the second, and Bellinger pounced on the following pitch, pulling a solo homer to top off a Dodgers dozen. Dayton struck-out Ríos and, despite a deep fly-ball from Taylor, set the next three down in order. Aside from a thirteen-pitch battle between Urías and Camargo, including a pimped 450ft foul ball, the bottom half was pretty uneventful. In the third, Seager ambushed a hanger and hit it 442ft, extending LA’s advantage to 13-0. Turner then roped a base hit, and Austin Riley’s misread on Muncy’s deep fly-ball resulted in a double. Turner scored on Smith’s productive ground-out, and Bellinger muscled an RBI knock up the middle. Pederson also rifled a single to center, but Huascar Ynoa punched out Ríos to leave them stranded. Cutting it to 15-1, Pache led-off Atlanta’s turn with a solo shot off of Urías — his first career home run. Urías worked around Freeman’s single from there, and Ynoa pitched a clean top half of the fourth. Urías countered with a perfect frame of his own, and Ynoa worked around a one-out walk to Muncy in the fifth. Urías struck-out Pablo Sandoval to complete the inning and conclude his very good outing. While he got plenty of run support, Urías dealt smoothly. He’s been just tremendous this postseason, and his final line tonight was as follows: 5IP, 1ER, 3H, 2BB, 5K. Urías also topped 100 pitches for the first time in his young career. Ynoa issued a free pass to Ríos with one-out in the sixth, and Kiké Hernàndez, recently replacing Betts to get him off his feet, also walked. Matt Beaty, getting Seager (who would have had at least two more opportunities to hit for the cycle with a triple) some rest, took a breaking ball to the foot. It loaded the bases with two-away for Austin Barnes, who pinch-hit for Turner as the DH, but he grounded-out. Kenley Jansen trotted in from the ‘pen to pitch the bottom, and although he didn’t look his best, he pitched a 1-2-3 frame. Bellinger’s two-out walk preceded a sharp single by Pederson, putting them at the corners and knocking Ynoa out of the game after a very valuable performance. Jacob Webb came in and got Ríos to ground-out, stranding the runners. Pedro Báez was given the home half, and he struck-out Riley and Camargo in a perfect frame. Hernàndez singled in the eighth and, yet again, Beaty didn’t flinch and took his second hit-by-pitch like a champ. Webb loaded the bases with a two-out walk to Muncy, and he was relieved by Shane Greene. Smith struck-out swinging, and Alex Wood took the hill. Wood struck-out a pair to work around a base hit. In the ninth, Green struck-out Bellinger prior to Pederson reaching on his fourth hit of the game. Green also struck-out Ríos and Taylor, sending the game to the bottom of the ninth. Adam Kolarek entered and was welcomed by a Tyler Flowers single, and an Albies double. Kolarek got Dansby Swanson looking, and a run scored on Riley’s ground-out. Camargo’s extra base hit into the gap brought home another, but Kolarek worked a chopper to end the ballgame.
The boys in blue respond to two disappointing losses with an assertive victory in game three, pulling them back in to the NLCS now only down 2-1. Tomorrow, the Dodgers will attempt to continue their momentum and even up the series. It will need to be confirmed by him in the morning, but unless Clayton Kershaw’s back spasms resurface unexpectedly, he’ll get the ball. Kershaw has had a resurgence in 2020, and has had one spectacular and one solid outing this postseason. If Kershaw doesn’t feel well, it will likely be Dustin May in his place. The opposition will be Bryse Wilson, who makes his first start of the playoffs. Wilson, 4.01 ERA in the regular season, is another young righty for the Braves. He likely won’t last long, but the arms that follow out of Atlanta’s ‘pen will be chosen accordingly. Another very important game for LA. 5:08pm first pitch. Go Dodgers!
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