Chris Taylor leads homer barrage for Dodgers
The Dodgers had their backs against the wall heading into Thursday’s Game Five of the NLCS, trailing the Braves 3-1 in the series for a second straight year. Last year, they were able to erase that deficit and advance to the World Series, ultimately winning it all over Tampa Bay. They are still the more talented team on paper this year as well, but the Braves pitching has been better, and things lined up for Atlanta to take this game and the series with Max Fried on the mound.
But that’s not what happened. Instead of the Braves getting another great pitching performance to keep the Dodgers down long enough for the Atlanta offense to get a few across, the Dodgers just crushed Atlanta pitching all night. The Braves did strike first, to be fair, with Freddie Freeman smacking a two-run homer in the top half of the first, but from there it was all Dodgers. Homers from Chris Taylor and A.J. Pollock in the third gave L.A. a 3-2 lead, and they never looked back. Taylor would smash three homers in the game — the first player to do that in an elimination game — while Pollock contributed two in what ended up being a blowout 11-2 win. These two now head back to Atlanta with the Braves leading the series 3-2. Game Six is on Saturday.
Forgettable day in Arizona
For the most part, the first portion of the Arizona Fall League has been kind to Red Sox prospects, mostly on the hitting side and largely with respect to Jeter Downs, but it’s been a nice showing overall. Downs was off on Thursday, and it was a forgettable day overall. The offensive side was largely nothing, with Triston Casas going 1-4 with a single and two strikeouts while Christian Koss went 0-3. The pitching side was more actively bad, with Brendan Cellucci struggling to the tune of four runs over 1 1⁄3 innings, allowing five hits and a walk with three strikeouts.