To the surprise of just about everyone, the Braves just straight-up outplayed the Dodgers in the first two games of the NLCS to take a 2-0 lead. In particular, their starting pitching has been wildly impressive against probably the best lineup in the game. That, uh, did not continue on Wednesday. In fact, Atlanta starter Kyle Wright didn’t make it out of the first.
There’s really not all that much to say about this game if we’re being honest, because it was essentially over before it began. In all, the Dodgers hit three home runs in the inning (including a Max Muncy grand slam), sent 14 batters to the plate, knocked Wright out with only two outs on the board, and scored 11 runs before starter Julio Urías even had to throw a pitch. That first inning was the game.
If the Braves are to take one positive from the game, it’s that they got an opportunity to rest their most important relief arms. In a series without days off, that’s not a small thing. That said, it was clearly the Dodgers night, and they made it a 2-1 series with the Braves still leading. Game Four will be Thursday night at 8:08 PM ET.
Astros not going home yet
The Rays had a chance to finish off a sweep if they could get a win on Wednesday night, and they had one of their better starters on the mound to do it with Tyler Glasnow getting the ball. While Tampa did hold the 3-0 series lead, though, they haven’t exactly dominated these games, with Houston being in each of them. It was another very close contest on Wednesday for Game Four, but this time it was the Astros picking up their first win and avoiding the sweep.
It was Houston getting on the board first, with José Altuve doing the job. While the second baseman has had plenty of issues in the field this series, he’s been hitting well and that continued here as he hit a solo homer in the bottom of the first. He’d also add an RBI double in the third, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead early on. The Rays weren’t going to lie down, though, and it was a familiar face getting it done. Randy Arozarena has been Tampa’s best player all October, and here he smacked a two-run shot in the fourth, breaking up Zack Greinke’s shutout and tying the game up at two. The Astros took their lead right back in the fifth when George Springer hit a two-run shot of his own to put Houston back up by two.
The biggest moment of the game came in the sixth, with Greinke still going for Houston. After a quick first out, he gave up a pair of singles to put two on with just one out. Greinke got a big strikeout against Arozarena, but then gave up a single to Ji-Man Choi to load up the bases. Dusty Baker, however, decided to stick with his guy, going a bit against the grain of what we’re used to this time of year. His faith in Greinke paid off, as the righty got Mike Brosseau swinging to end the inning unscathed.
Greinke was pulled after the sixth, and the Astros bullpen was fine in the seventh and eighth. The ninth, though, got a little dicey. It was still a 4-2 game with Ryan Pressly coming in. He led things off by walking Choi, and then after a couple of outs Willy Adames kept things alive with an RBI double. Suddenly, it was just a one-run game with the tying run at second. A wild pitch moved him up to third, but Yoshi Tsutsugo couldn’t get one more hit. Adames was left at third, and Houston lived to fight another day with a 4-3 win.
Game Five will be Thursday night at 5:07 PM ET.