Dodgers 2-3 Braves: score, stats, highlights - Game 1 NLCS
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Two teams used two philosophies on the mound tonight, Atlanta going the traditional route with a starter going deep into the middle innings and LA cycling their way through their formidible bullpen, but in the end the difference was the inability to capitalize on the offensive side of the table. The Dodgers got only 2 runs off of 10 hits while the Braves managed 3 from only 6 hits and this ended up being the real tale of the tape. Tomorrow will see Max Scherzer square off against Ian Anderson, but the team that manages to strand the least players is likely to have the advantage in Atlanta.
Game 1 of the NLCS goes to the Atlanta Braves 3-2. Game 2 will be tomorrow, first pitch at 7:38 p.m. ET.
Austin Riley hits a homerun in the fourth and now collects his first career walk-off RBI.
Riley hits a shot to the left field corner and drives in Albies for a walk-off single. Atlanta wins Game 1!
Austin Riley comes up and on the first pitch Albies steals second. He gets a great jump and leaves the catcher no chance at all to get him.
Albies hits a little bloop just behind the bag in shallow center. It drops and he reaches first. The winning run is now on base with one out.
Freeman strikes out for the fourth time tonight. First time in his career that this has happened.
The Dodgers bring on Blake Treinen to try and close out the ninth and give them a chance in extra innings.
Bellinger slaps a single to right and Taylor thought about third but hesitated just long enough to get caught in a run down. The inning ends between second and third and we go to the bottom of the ninth still drawn at two.
Taylor draws the first walk of the game and Cody Bellinger steps up to the plate.
Smith gets Pujols and Pollock to pop out to the first base side of the infield. Chris Taylor comes up as the Dodgers' last chance to win this one inside the regulation nine.
Three up and three down as we move to the ninth still tied at two.
The Braves have their closer Will Smith up and working.
The closer Kenley Jansen takes the mound for the bottom of the eighth. First pitch is popped up to the right side of the infield.
41,815 is the official attendance tonight. Seager grounds out and Justin Turner strikes out on a nasty slider for the first two. Will Smith flies out to center to get Atlanta out of the inning.
Luke Jackson is handed the pitching duties for Atlanta in the top of the eighth.
Joe Kelly has a perfect inning. Three up, three out, all on strikes.
The hard-throwing Dutchman Kenley Jansen is up in the LA bullpen and will almost certainly be taking the mount in the next inning.
Joe Kelly takes the mound for the Dodgers. This makes the sixth pitcher in seven innings used by Los Angeles.
We go to the seventh inning stretch still level at two.
Trea Turner comes up and strikes out to end the inning. A serious threat by LA is neutralised.
Mookie Betts pops one up to first and we have two out.
Austin Barnes is brought on to pinch hit for LA and lays a sac bunt down to advance the runner to third with one out.
Taylor hits a little flare behind first, Freeman misses it by a hair and Taylor gets to second on it with a leadoff double.
To start seven, Atlanta makes their first pitching change, bringing on Tyler Matzek.
When he finally concetrates on the batter, he blows three fastballs past him for the third out.
Austin Riley steps in and Vesia seems overly preocupied by the runner, throwing to first three times.
He slaps a check swing hit between the mound and third and beats it out. Man on first with two outs.
Switch hitter Albies swaps over to the right side of the plate to face the southpaw pitcher.
Freeman goes out swinging and is 0 for 3 tonight, all strikeouts.
Joe Kelly is active in the Dodger's bullpen.
Freeman comes to the plate, one of the Braves most potent weapons is 0 for 2 tonight.
The Dodgers have brought on Alex Vesia for the sixth and he gets Rosario to fly out.
AJ Pollock lines one to Albies for the final out and the Braves get out of jail.
Pujols hits a chopper for a fielder's choice out moving Turner to third.
Fried is trying to keep the pitches low for the Machine, and puts another in the dirt. Good stop by d'Arnaud.
Turner manages to get to second on a wild pitch that got away from d'Arnaud. He is in scoring position with one out and Albert Pujols at the plate. A very promising situation for LA.
Big JT comes up and knocks one through to center for a single. Will Smith follows up with a fly ball for out number one.
The pitcher Fried strikes out to end the inning and we are headed to six level at two.
Swanson hits one to the edge of the warning track for the second out. The Braves bats are only missing by a hair. Sooner or later, the hits will start to fall for them.
First pitch in the bottom of the fifth and Travis d'Arnaud takes it to the warning track. A great shot that missed by a foot or so. One out.
Called strike three and the Braves get out of trouble.
Fried was right to be wary, Turner takes second on the second pitch. Good move, good pitch, good throw from Smith. He just flat out stole it.
Fried picks to first and very nearly catches Turner leaning.
Trea Turner hits up the middle for a single. He is a definite steal threat with Seager now coming up to the plate.
Mookie bets hits one one the screws straight to short for a 6-3 double play.
Gonsolin is the first batter of the fifth and beats out a ground ball to short.
Duvall hits a routine ground ball for out number three and the Dodgers escape further damage. We go to five tied at 2.
The Florida State Seminoles started the tomahawk chop in the early 80s and over the years it was copied by every team with a native american mascot before finally settling in with fans of the Atlanta Braves.
The stadium is up and howling the tomahawk chop
Joc Pederson slaps one into the shift and Trea Turner bobbles it. Back to back hits and Pederson is on first with two outs.
Austin Riley cranks one just inside the left field foul pole for a homerun! The game is tied again at two.
Albies is hitting from the left side of the plate, trying to disrupt LA's pitching plan. He hits a towering out to right field.
If you play to your strengths rather than your opponent's weakness then the Dodgers plan makes sense. They have the deepest and most varied pitching staff in baseball this season.
Bruihl gets all three southpaws and right on cue, Dave Roberts pulls him. Gonsolin will come on to face Albies.
Pollock strikes out for the second and Chris Taylor goes down on three straight pitches to end the inning. Middle of 4 and the Dodgers have the lead 2-1
A near collision on the left side of the infield is recovered and big Machine Albert Pujols is thrown out at first.
Will Smith comes up in the top of 4 and smacks one into the left field stands. LA takes the lead 2-1.
Bruihl gets out of the inning, though he put a couple of pitches in the dirt. Since he got out of the inning, the three-hitter rule doesn't apply. It will be interesting to see who the Dodgers start in the fourth.
An unwillingness to let a fluid game develop has seen this marvelous pitching staff through the post season so far, but I am not entirely convinced that it is foolproof. They have the depth to get out of trouble most of the time, but they risk a lot taking a guy who is hot out too soon. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
The Dodgers clearly have a pre-set plan to work their way through their pitching roster. They are counting outs. Will that come back to bite them at some point?
Despite Bickford's outstanding pitching, striking out four, Dave Roberts makes the change and brings on Bruihl.
The Dodgers have Bruihl and Gonsolin both up in the bullpen, giving them options to go orthodox or to go with a port-sider.
Seager tries the bloop shot to left but it is snagged by Swanson at short. Justin Turner comes up next and flies out to right to end the inning. Middle of three, 1-0.
Trea Turner hits a blooper to right for a single.
We start three with Mookie flying out to right field, caught by the former Dodger, Joc Pederson.
I am quite a cricket fan myself, but while I like a game that has a break for tea I am certain that there is a fundamental problem with any game that can play for five days and end in a draw.
Bickford retires the side in order and we move to the third still tied at one.
The Braves come out for the bottom of the second and will face Bickford on the mound.
The use of the K for strikeout and the backward ꓘ for a strikeout without offering for the ball dates back to 1856 and is the result of Henry Chadwick having already chosen the letter S for "sacrifice".
From the Encyclopedia Brittanica:
An Englishman, Henry Chadwick, was a writer who had transferred his love of cricket to baseball when he saw the new game played in 1856. While working as a baseball reporter, Chadwick created many of the now-common features of baseball scoring and statistics keeping, including the numbers used to denote defensive positions (1 for pitcher, 2 for catcher, etc.)
Chadwick’s box score of an 1859 game has been recognized as the first box score ever (although there are a number of sources that dispute this claim), and his choices made in it have reverberated throughout baseball history. His impact on how we describe the game was so great that Chadwick became the only journalist officially enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Souza caught looking on a called strike three. ꓘ
1-1 in the second and Souza pinch hits for the pitcher Corey Knebel. On the first pitch, Taylor steals first with no throw. The Dodgers have a man in scoring position and two outs.
Chris Taylor follows him up with a single to center to score the Dodgers first run.
Two quick outs in the top of the second and then AJ Pollock knocks one into the gap in right center for a double.
Knebel strikes out Austin Riley but the opening shot has been fired. 1-0 Braves. The Dodgers are starting to flex that impressive bullpen already, with Phil Bickford warming up.
Rosario advances to third on a fielders choice and then scores on a wild pitch that makes it to the backstop. Braves draw first blood.
With a full-count hit and run on, Freeman goes down on strikes and Rosario just beats the tag at second.
Rosario leads off the bottom of the 1st with a single to right.
The 44 you see cut into the center field grass is in honor of Hank Aaron who wore the number which was retired this season by the Braves.
Justin Turner hangs in for a tough at-bat, but goes down on a check swing called third strike. Shades of the NLDS
First batter, Mookie Betts chops a slider into a routine fly ball to right for the first out. Trea Turner follows it up with a broken ball 6-3 ground out and Corey Seager hustles a ground ball through the infield and turns it into a double. Man on second with two outs.
The warmups are all done, the crowd has the tomahawk chop happening, it's time to get Game 1 of the NLCS started!
With all the focus on the pitching and the defense in the NLCS, two players to keep your eye on at the bat is Freddie Freeman and Mookie Betts. Both have the potential to score at any point and are no stranger to the big games and every pitch is a green light for these guys.
This evening should start off a crisp 62 degrees and clear skies in Atlanta. Fall has definitely fallen.
Truist Park has a capacity of 41,084, but their record attendance was 43,619. We'll see how close we get to that number tonight.
I know that it is early days to talk about this, and don't take this as a prediction, but should the Dodgers and the Red Sox both make it to the World Series, it would be only the third time ever that an all-Wild Card series took place. Interestingly, both previous times were in the past 20 years, first in 2002 and then again in 2014.
Braves Batting Order
Eddie Rosario (L) LF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Joc Pederson (L) RF
Adam Duvall (R) CF
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Max Fried (L) P
Dodgers Batting Order
Mookie Betts (R) RF
Trea Turner (R) 2B
Corey Seager (L) SS
Justin Turner (R) 3B
Will Smith (R) C
Albert Pujols (R) 1B
AJ Pollock (R) LF
Chris Taylor (R) CF
Corey Knebel (R) P
The Braves’ biggest asset going into tonight is definitely their starting pitcher Max Fried. He went 14 and 7 in the regular season with a 3.04 ERA. His WHIP is a very tidy 1.09 and you can look for him to go deep into the game. Taking this steady pitching together with the LA reticence to have high scoring offense, Atlanta are a team to be reckoned with. 2020’s matchup was substantially the same, and these two teams had a seven-game thriller. There is nothing that makes me believe that Atlanta can’t repeat that performance.
The Dodgers come into this game as the heavy favorite. They won more games during the regular season, and the NL East is the significantly weaker division. Their impressive pitching roster depth, even without Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer for tonight’s game, will allow them to weather the storm better than most teams might. However, it is perhaps worthy of note that LA has lost the last four straight on-the-road Game 1 meetings, having been outscored by their opponents 26-13.
The defending World Series champion Dodgers had an impressive 106 wins this season, but has had to do it the hard way after finishing behind San Francisco in the NL West. As the Wild card team, they have had to go through the White Sox and the Giants to make it here and the 88-win Braves as the winners of the NL East are the home team.
Welcome to the live commentary of the first game of the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. Tonight’s game is being held at Truist Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 8:08 ET, so just about an hour from now.