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The Dodgers come into this game desperately. They have the better pitcher on the mound and are back at home where they are absolutely dominant. The Braves clearly have momentum, with two consecutive walk-offs almost sending an earthquake through Atlanta. However, the Dodgers have won nine straight at home against the Braves and we don’t see that changing on Tuesday.
Even though they were the road team, few expected the Dodgers to head back home down 2-0 in this NLCS. However, after a bullpen day in Game 1 couldn’t produce a win and neither could ace Max Scherzer in Game 2, so here we are.
Up steps Walker Buehler to the mound, who was huge in the NLDS, throwing 4.1 innings on just three days rest in Game 4 to help the Dodgers stay alive and ultimately win the series.
He might have been the team’s best pitcher this year, going 16-4 overall with a 2.47 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 212 strikeouts in 207.2 innings and he’s going to need to be at his best in this one.
He’s countered by the veteran, Charlie Morton, who was fantastic this year The 37-year-old (who turns 38 in less than a month): was 14-6 this year with a 3.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 216 strikeouts — he should finish in the top 10 in Cy Young voting in the NL.
Neither of these guys is going to be scared of the moment, which is why this game should be even more compelling.
All night long in both contests it felt like the game was building toward a dramatic finish for Atlanta. A walk-off hit by Austin Riley in Game 1 and another by Eddie Rosario in Game 2 has exemplified the difference between these two teams so far in this series.
Sure, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts over-thought this and shouldn’t have brought in Julio Urias in the 8th like he did when he had a rather healthy stable of relievers at the ready, but this is about the Braves being clutch and the Dodgers not.
Los Angeles has been flat-out terrible with runners in scoring position this series, going 1-of-8 in Game 1 and 1-of-10 in Game 2. Despite going a perfect 4-for-4 on stolen bases and putting pressure on the defense, they could never capitalize.
Meanwhile, the Braves continued to pound the ball in the second game of the series. They had 10 hits off Dodgers pitching, four of which came from the hero Rosario. Atlanta is playing what’s called complementary baseball right now.
No one-hitter is mashing the ball. NO pitcher is throwing complete games. But everybody is doing their job. And that’s why (big gulp for Atlanta fans) the Braves are just two games away from the World Series.
A number of players have been cold for the Dodgers this series, but one in particular who needs to step up is Justin Turner. He got the night off in Game 2 and is just 3-of-28 in the postseason, but expect him in the lineup Tuesday.
For Atlanta, the Braves have won five straight and are red hot thanks in large part to Joc Pederson. It feels a little wrong to see him do damage against his old team, but it’s also very entertaining. He’s 5-of-14 in the playoffs with a team-high three home runs and seven RBIs.
Let’s see if he can avoid the pressure of being back under the Hollywood lights.
|Braves vs Dodgers Information|
|Teams||Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Location||Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California|
|Time||Tuesday, Oct. 19, 5:08 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||TBS|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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