Atlanta knocks off Los Angeles for NL Pennant
The National League started this postseason with two juggernauts out west, with both the Dodgers and Giants proving themselves to be probably the two best teams in baseball with the regular season, finishing with easily the two best records in the game. Those two had to play each other in the NLDS, but neither will be representing the National League in the World Series. Instead, that honor will go to the Braves after taking the NLCS in six games with a in on Saturday.
The first big blow for L.A. in this game happened before first pitch, as Max Scherzer was supposed to get the start but was unable to do so as he was dealing with some dead arm issues. In his stead, Walker Buehler got the call on short rest. And to his credit, Buehler looked good for most of his start. He did get into some trouble in the first, following up a big double play with back-to-back doubles, the latter scoring a run to give the Braves an early 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers righty came back with a couple of scoreless innings after that, and in the top half of the fourth L.A. was able to strike and tie the game up thanks to a Cody Bellinger single against the shift. It was a new ballgame with momentum on the side of the Dodgers, but they left the go-ahead run at third base. And sure enough, the Braves struck again in the bottom half. Buehler got two quick outs to start the inning, but then kept things alive by walking Travis d’Arnaud, and a double from pinch hitter Ehire Adrianza put a pair in scoring position.
Eddie Rosario then came back around for a third time in the game, and he made the most of it. The eventual NLCS MVP blasted a three-run shot up and over the right field wall, and the Braves had a 4-1 lead. The Dodgers best chance to come back in this game was in the seventh when they started off with two doubles and a walk, pulling to within two with the tying runs in scoring position. But Tyler Matzek came in out of the bullpen and struck out the next three batters in a huge sequence to ultimately save the game. Atlanta went on to win 4-2 and will face the Astros in the World Series starting on Tuesday.
Catching up in the desert
We missed Friday’s action as well, so consider this a two-day catch-up, including games from both Friday and Saturday, starting with Friday. In that one, Jeter Downs just continued to torch AFL pitching. He went 1-4 with a walk in the game, but the one hit was a three-run homer, already his fourth of the run in Arizona. He’s facing a lot of tired pitchers and this is not exactly midseason competition, but if for no other reason than confidence this is obviously a very good thing for Red Sox fans. Triston Casas and Christian Koss also played in this game, with the former going 1-4 with a single, a run, and a strikeout, while the latter went 0-4 with three strikeouts. On the mound, A.J. Politi allowed a run in two innings on two hits (both singles) and a walk with one strikeout.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Kole Cottam was the only Red Sox player to get in on the action. He went 1-4 with a single and a strikeout.