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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Braves will outlast the Dodgers in the first NLCS game

ATLANTA – The Dodgers played the postseason in the bubble last fall. They’re playing in a phone booth this year.

After a wildcard game that ended in a draw in the ninth inning and a Division 5 game that also ended in a draw in the ninth inning, the Dodgers opened the NL Championship streak with the Atlanta Braves in equally close quarters.

Game 1 on Saturday night went into the ninth inning with a draw – because, you know, playoff baseball. But this time the Brave Men have shown heroism. Austin Riley’s RBI single from Blake Trainen was victorious, giving the Braves a 3-2 victory and an early streak lead to the best of seven.

The second game will take place on Sunday at 16:30. The start of the game is planned for Max Scherzer, who will continue the line of the conga in the first game, consisting of eight peters. The relief relay went off, holding the Braves down to six hits and 14 strikeouts.

“We kept running all night,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of the swinging staff, who so far has given up just 14 runs in seven games in the postseason. “We didn’t win the game because we didn’t prevent the races.”

Well, sort of.

As effective as the Dodgers are at containing the Braves’ attack, they’ve also done a pretty good job of containing themselves. Chris Taylor’s basic running error in the ninth inning short-circuited what could have been a decisive rally.

“It was one of those games,” Taylor said. “We missed a couple of opportunities and they took advantage of them.”

Taylor found himself at the center of two of the most costly missed opportunities.

At 2-2 in seventh place, he made the first double over the head of Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. As innovative as their game 1 pitching plan was, the Dodgers turned to old school tactics and moved striker Austin Barnes to third base.

But Mookie Betts (popped out to Freeman) and Treya Turner (struck out) got him stuck there.

“I think it might have been a little too aggressive, but I don’t mind because that’s what I told myself I wanted to do,” Turner said of his play against Tyler Matsek. “He made some good passes, I swung a few goals. Obviously, I would like to return that, that at-bat. ”

So the Dodgers have 1 in 8 with runners in a winning position in the game and 4 out of 33 after a short break in NLDS 2. They didn’t get another attack in the RISP game.

Taylor reached base for the third time in the game when he drew with two outs in the ninth inning. Cody Bellinger struck and laced the single over the head of second baseman Ozzy Albis.

Trying to go from first to third, Taylor bypassed second base, but then changed his mind and hit the brakes. Jock Pederson’s throw came behind him, and Taylor was caught off guard.

“It was just bad reading,” Taylor said. “I saw that it barely got over Albis’s head and thought I could get to third place. I didn’t realize that Jock figured it out so quickly and tried to stop. I had to continue.

“When I rounded up second, I saw that he got the ball earlier than I expected, and I thought twice not to be thrown out in third place. Then he just threw it behind my back. … You don’t want to come out last when you are in a successful position. ”

Instead, Taylor made it out last in no-man’s land between second and third.

“CT was a little aggressive and stayed there late, not giving Mookie (Betts) a chance with two strikeouts – it happens,” Roberts said. “This is baseball.”

The Dodgers’ plan to serve the first leg of the NLCS was definitely 21st century baseball. Corey Knebel opened for the second game in a row. He gave up running in the wild, but the pitcher mix was eliminated for the next 11 Braves in a row before Riley tore a solo home run in left field from Tony Gonsolin.

Fourteen of the next 16 Brave also retired with a couple of singles that infielders failed to disassemble, breaking the monotony.

Three of them were thrown out by Kenley Jansen – in eighth place.

Roberts explained the decision to put Jansen ahead of Trainen as a strategic decision to use Jansen against two left-handers and keep Trainen for right-handers Albis and Riley in the ninth.

“Kenly is closer to us,” Roberts said. “But I just felt like with the left approaching – (Dansby) Swanson, striker, two lefties at the top, I really liked Kenley right here.”

Ironically, Treinen struck out lefty Freeman to start ninth. Albis, hitting the switch (left-handed batter), threw a pop-up into midfield for a single and then stole a second, exploiting the Dodgers’ pitching weakness throughout the season.

World Nation News Desk
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