Dodgers vs. Braves commentary, scores, stats and updates: Championship Series
Dodgers vs. Braves NLCS Game 6
The Braves beat the Dodgers 4-2 in Game 6. They eliminate the reigning champions and will face the Houston Astros in the World Series.
This is the end of the line for the Dodgers. The Atlanta Braves and the Houston Astros will play in the World Series.
For the first time in 22 years the Atlanta braves are going to the World Series. Only the sixth time in their history.
It all comes to rest on the shoulders of AJ Pollock. He hits a shot to short and the throw to first is in time! The Braves win the NL pennant!
Cody Bellinger stands in and runs the count to 3-2. Smith serves up the pitch and blows it by him. Two strikeouts in the inning and the Dodgers are on the ropes! One out left in their season.
He gets him chasing a high fastball for a strikeout. One away here in the ninth.
The Braves bring on closer Will Smith to put the lid on the Dodgers. Chris Taylor leads off to face him.
A swing and a miss to end the inning!
Riley is 2 for 4 on the night with a two out hit already. A base hit can score two.
On the 0-2 delivery, Jansen serves up some high cheese and Albies whiffs it. Freeman was running on the pitch and there was no throw so he is awarded with a stolen base. We now have men on second and third with two outs for Austin Riley.
Freeman is given the free pass to first and we have men at the corners with one out for Albies.
Eddie Rosario, almost certainly the NLCS MVP, sends one to deep center field for a sac fly. Bellinger makes a great catch about a pace in front of the wall in the deepest part of the outfield, and it is enough to move Soler to third on the tag-up.
On the eighth pitch, Soler lines it to left for a base hit. He rounds first and shows no intention of slowing down and beats the throw for a leadoff double.
Soler has fouled off every pitch so far. It is 0-2 and 6 pitches have been thrown.
The Dodgers have brought on their ace closer Kenley Jansen to shut the Braves down in the bottom of the eighth. Jorge Soler, recently back from a covid list IR, will stand in to face him.
Will Smith hits one to Riley, same place as Turner, and with the same result. The Braves get out of the inning and are now three outs away from the World Series.
Trea Turner hits one to Riley at third and Riley guns him down at first. Two down.
He strikes Seager out on three straight pitches. That is four straight strikeouts for Matzek.
Corey Seager will lead off the eighth for LA and Matzek is back on the mound. The Atlanta crowd is on their feet and every single one of them appreciates the fact that Matzek is on the mound.
Travis d'Arnaud watches a called strike three to end the inning.
Dansby Swanson rips one to left field for a base hit. The two-out hit machine keeps rolling on in Atlanta.
Joc Pederson stands in and takes a curve ball strike. He fouls off the second delivery and is suddenly in a hole 0-2. He gets one back at 1-2 and skies the next ball to right for the second out.
Duvall swings and misses the 2-2 delivery for the first out.
The Dodgers come out in the bottom of the seventh with Corey Knebel taking over the pitching duties. Duvall will lead off for Atlanta.
He delivers the 0-2 and Betts goes down swinging! Oh my oh my! For the Braves to come out of that inning giving up only one run is huge. It may be a back breaker. Two on and nobody out and then to come away with three straight punch outs. If you want to talk about momentum shifting play, that is the kind of thing that can turn a game, swing it in your favor or deflate all the air from the room if you are on the receiving end of that.
Matzek is really on his game at the moment and he throws strike two at 98 mph! But Mookie Betts is one of the best fastball hitters in baseball.
Mookie Betts steps in and takes the first strike.
Souza swings at the first two and is in a hole. He gets one back an Matzek delivers the 1-2 for a called strike three! What a beauty of a pitch! 99 MPH right on the bottom corner. Two down in the inning.
Steven Souza pinch hits for Treinen. The Dodgers are trading any more work from their pitcher for a chance at the runs on the bases right now. In a do or die situation, that's a no-brainer.
Matzek gets him swinging on a big curve ball for the first out.
That will be it for Jackson. Kranitz calls for Tyler Matzek to clean up the mess. He will face Albert Pujols with runners at second and third.
The delivery from Jackson and it is hit down the left field line just fair. Rosario fields it cleanly and the runners advance and Taylor scores on the play.
He had two home runs in Game 5. Dangerous bat for the Braves here.
AJ Pollock comes to the plate 1 for 2 with a double.
Bellinger takes the plate and gets four straight balls. And just like that, the Dodgers have the tying run at the plate. Rick Kranitz makes a trip to the mound to see if he can get his man settled.
Luke Jackson comes in to face the Dodgers in the top half of the seventh and gives up a leadoff double to Taylor. He missed clearing the left field wall by inches!
99 mile an hour fastball catches the outside paint and Riley is rung up looking!
Blake Treinen is pulled in to try and get the Dodgers out of this mess. He faces Riley and quickly jump out ahead of him.
He puts up a real struggle, fouling off anything close in this eight pitch marathon. He draws the walk. That is three consecutive walks and Dave Roberts yanks him.
Ozzie Albies comes up and will try his luck against Vesia.
Freeman hangs tough and draws the walk. Two men are now on with two outs.
All four Braves runs tonight have been made with two outs.
Freeman steps in to see if something can get started here wih two outs.
Vesia loses him on six pitches and Rosario will get the walk.
Alex Vesia will get the nod to face Rosario.
Johan Camargo is brought on to pinch hit and pops one to center field for the second out. It looks like the end of the evening for Graterol.
Graterol comes in to deal with the Braves and faces d'Arnaud, sitting him down in three straight pitches.
Will Smith steps in and gets caught swinging. Three up, three down with two strikeouts. What an inning from Minter!
Trea Turner comes in and swings at the first pitch. There is an awkward hop off the edge of the grass but Riley comes up with it, makes the throw and Freeman comes up with a golden glove caliber catch to make the out!
The count runs full and Minter delivers the payoff for a called strike three. What a peach of a pitch. 96mph right on the bottom of the zone.
They have elected to send Minter in to face Seager to start the sixth.
The Braves typically will ask one or two innings from their relievers and that is what they will likely do tonight.
Swanson comes up first pitch swinging and hits a laser to third, taken by Taylor for the final out.
The next delivery hits him and he is awarded first.
The two out hitter is now Joc Pederson and the first delivery is a 100mph smoker right down the pipe for a called strike one.
Adam Duvall steps in to face Graterol and watches a called strike three.
He pops one up to short and Seager puts it away for the first out.
Riley is the leadoff man for Atlanta and he gets behind quickly.
As the Dodgers take the field, Albert Pujols will stay in the game and play first base. The new man on the mound for LA is Brusdar Graterol.
Minter throws high heat and sends Betts back to the dugout on three pitches to end the inning.
Two up two down and that brings up the top of the order Mookie Betts.
Andy Burns comes up and dribbles the first pitch to short stop for a putout at first.
The payoff delivery comes and Minter strikes Albert out with a change up.
Pujols is very clever at the bat and works the count full.
AJ Minter is brought on in relief for Atlanta. As he comes in, the Dodgers bring in Albert Pujols to face him.
He looks to calm down a bit to deliver to Albies and strikes him out swinging to end the inning. But the Braves have tacked on three to go to the fifth 4-1
Buehler is rattled. He throws four straight balls to Freeman.
Eddie Rosario is the hottest bat in baseball. You have to wonder why they pitched to him. Surely Freeman is the better man to go after.
Rosario blasts it over the right field wall, just insid the foul pole! Three run shot!
Adrianza rips one into the right field corner for a double! d'Arnaud runs for all he is worth, but he is a catcher and he runs like one, so Ron Washington throws up the stop sign. Men on second and third for Atlanta with Rosario coming up.
Ehire Adrianza comes in to pinch hit for Anderson. The Braves have decide to take a chance with two outs here to make something happen.
Travis d'Arnaud will try to keep the inning alive for Atlanta and stays big in there. He draws the walk.
Dansby Swanson on the first pitch skies one out to center for the easy out. Two away.
Buehler faces Joc Pederson who can't hold off on the check swing and goes down on strikes.
AJ Pollock skies one to the pitchers mound. Riley calls for it and puts it away for the final out. The Dodgers strand two men, but square things up here in Atlanta.
He slaps one through to the opposite field with the shift on! Turner scores from second to level the scoring. Will Smith moves to third and we have men on the corners.
Bellinger tries to get the runners pushed down the basepaths. He starts with a huge cut that comes up empty.
The payoff delivery is a low cutter and Taylor swings and misses! Strikeout for the second out of the inning.
It evens out and Anderson doesn't get the close call for ball 3
Taylor comes in first-pitch swinging and gets quickly behind in the count.
Smith gets one to hit and shoots it into right for a single. Men at first and second now with Chris Taylor coming to the plate.
WIll Smith stands in and Anderson is very preoccupied with Turner, making three throws to the bag before delivering a ball.
Trea Turner gets a base on balls, his first of the post season. Now the Dodgers have one of the fastest runners in the league on first.
Seager leads off in the fourth and takes a shot to right, but it is easily handled for the first out.
He gets down in the count and serves up a slider outside to get the K, his fourth K of the game, second of the inning. We move to the fourth inning, the Braves still leading by one.
Adam Duvall tries to keep the momentum going with two on and two out.
Riley comes to the plate and rips one through the left side for a base hit. The Braves continue their habit of getting hits with two outs.
Ozzie Albies gets behind in the count and chases an outstanding curve ball, very late break, for strike three.
Freddie Freemand stands strong in a 9 pitch battle with Buehler and comes away with the walk.
Rosario swings at the first pitch and pops it high to second base. One pitch and one out.
Mookie Betts grounds one sharply to third base and Riley makes the long throw to first for the final out.
Walker Buehler stands in and takes a strike before swinging at the next two. Strikeout number three.
Beaty slaps a fly ball to left but Rosario makes short work of it for the first out.
He tattoos one into the gap in left center that can't be fielded by Duvall. It rollls to the wall and he gets a stand-up double.
Los Angeles will send AJ Pollock to the plate to lead off the third.
This may be the last time we see pitchers batting in the major leagues as the DH looks set to return to the National League next season. The modern game calls for increased specialization, higher scoring and protection of assets by owners. I suppose that I am a dinosaur but I think that every player should bat and every batter should play.
Anderson comes to the plate and gets sent down on three pitches. That is the end of two.
Travis d'Arnaud smashes his bat hitting it straight back up the middle. It is fielded by Trea Turner but he can't make the long throw in time, and the Braves have a baserunner with two outs.
Buehler faces off with Swanson now and jumps on him with three straight strikes for his first strikeout of the game. Two down here in the second.
Joc Pederson leads off, swings at the first pitch and hits a bullet towards third base. It is caught by Seager! He may not have even seen it, just threw his glove up as a reflex action. In any case, we have one away.
Cody Bellinger has a patient at bat and watches the count go 3-1 before he swings at a low fastball and hits it sharply to second where it is caught by Albies for the final out.
Chris Taylor can't check his swing and gets behind 0-2 in the count. He chases a low change up for the second out and Anderson's second K.
He takes a cut and sends it out to left field where Rosario deals with it for the first out.
Will Smith leads off the second inning for LA.
He gets a low slider and sends it to centerfield where it is hauled in by Cody Bellinger for the final out.
Now it is the turn of Adam Duvall to try and manufacture a run.
He fights off a few and manages to check his swing to bring the count to 3-2 and sends the delivery to the left field warning track! It one-hops the fence for a ground rule double and Albies scores from second. The Braves strike first, 1-0
Austin Riley will se if he can make anything of the baserunner.
Ozzie Albies comes to the plate and sends a long shot off the top of the right field wall! He missed a homerun by about two inches and gets into second base for a two out double!
He gets a low slider and hits into the shift and the Dodgers turn a 4-6-3 double play. Two down.
Freddie Freeman steps in and the Dodgers go into a heavy infield shift to the right side.
He slaps one to left field for a base hit. Rosario is a hitting machine in the last three games!
Eddie Rosario who has had an absolutely stellar series for Atlanta leads off.
The Dodgers now take the field and Walker Buehler loosens up ready to go to work on this Braves lineup.
That last fastball was in the same location as the first pitch of the game. Both beautiful pitches and perfectly located on the top inside corner of the strike zone.
The count runs full and he gets a high and tight fastball thrown past him for the final out of the inning.
Trea Turner comes in with an aggressive approach and goes after low breaking pitches for strikes.
Seager comes to the plate and gets three balls before swinging freely at a fastball that jammed him on the hands. He grounds it to second and the routine play to first gets the second out.
Mookie sends one high into the air in center and we have the first out of the game.
Here comes the first pitch and it is a called strike at 94 mph.
The Braves are on the field and warming up. Ian Anderson is on the mound, Mookie Betts is in the on-deck circle. All is ready for Game 6 to get underway.
We are just ten minutes away from the first pitch being thrown in Atlanta and the crowd is alive. This is the best of what baseball has to offer!
Dodgers Batting Order
Mookie Betts (R) RF
Corey Seager (L) SS
Trea Turner (R) 2B
Will Smith (R) C
Chris Taylor (R) 3B
Cody Bellinger (L) CF
AJ Pollock (R) LF
Matt Beaty (L) 1B
Walker Buehler (RHP)
The Home Team
Braves Batting Order
Eddie Rosario (L) LF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Adam Duvall (R) CF
Joc Pederson (L) RF
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
Ian Anderson (RHP)
One day after Jorge Soler returned to the Braves active roster following a positive covid test, Atlanta have raised some eyebrows by selecting outspoken covid vaccine-mandate critic Travis Tritt to sing the national anthem for Game 6. Tritt was asked about his stance in a Billboard magazine interview and he said that he is not against the vaccine itself, but "against forcing people to take medicine that they may not need and may not want."
Atlanta have had most of the news focus on the length of time since they have been in the World series and the inevitable comparisons with that team. But to focus on the glory days of Smoltz, Maddux, Glavine et al. is to do a disservice to this Atlanta Braves squad.
The west coast press focuses almost exclusively on their 88-win season and points to this as a sign of mediocrity, as being somehow unworthy of the World Series. Years ago, when NFL great and four-time Super Bowl winner Terry Bradshaw was confronted with press accusations that he was not the best quarterback in the league, an incensed (rightly) Bradshaw shot back, “The best quarterback in the NFL is the one that wins the Super Bowl.” Indeed. The Braves aren’t worthy of the World Series? If they win four NLCS games then they are definitely worthy.
Their offensive production has suffered in the post season as well, with the rock of their batting order, Max Muncy being lost for the rest of the year after a collision at first against Milwaukee. Game 4 saw post season star Justin Turner’s season end with a hamstring injury. This is a beat-up organization. I said that LA was in a bar-room brawl and if that is so, then they have the scars to prove it.
The running story of the regular season has been just how deep and talented this Dodger bullpen is, but it is now showing signs of wear and tear.
On the opening series of the playoffs, they lost a very large gun in Clayton Kershaw. His elbow inflammation will not require Tommy Johns surgery but has meant that his season, and perhaps his time in a Dodgers uniform, is over. Max Scherzer, who was meant to start tonight, has been removed from the rotation with complaints of a “dead arm”, officially arm fatigue. He could potentially be ready for an outing or two should LA make it into the World Series, but his arm status at the moment is “overcooked”. Mariachi Joe Kelly has been diagnosed with a biceps strain after his sudden exit from Game 5 and has been ruled out for the rest of the post season.
The Dodgers rotational worries highlight the dangers of October baseball. After a long season, six months of daily grind, you can only ride your bullpen if you can manage to keep a stable of healthy pitchers. And that is easier said than done.
Atlanta are one win away from clinching the National League pennant and Los Angeles are in a real bar-room brawl. They are kicking and scratching like their life depended on it, and in a sense it does.
The Dodgers fell behind in very tight, low scoring losses in Games 1 and 2, won a very tight, low scoring Game 3, got hammered in Game 4 and finally had their bats come alive in a Game 5 that piled humiliation on the Braves pitching. They need that to not be a fluke, not be a one-off. They need those bats to be on fire tonight to have any life left in their season.
Welcome to the live commentary of Game 6 of the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves.