Dodgers fan – or baseball fan – you have seen a lot of meaningful baseball of late. We want to make sure that none of this blends together. Thus, a short series recap for you so you can file it away beautifully in your memory bank forever.
In route to their fourth straight NLCS, there was little resistance. The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-2 on Monday night to win the NLDS.
Hyun-Jin Ryu started game one instead of Clayton Kershaw, and fired seven beautiful innings of shutout baseball. Ryu struck out eight Braves and allowed just four hits and no walks.
The Dodgers offense was paced by home runs from Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Kiké Hernandez. Alex Wood, Dylan Floro and Caleb Ferguson completed the shutout with scoreless relief.
Clayton Kershaw wowed you, captivated you, amazed you; and showed you that greatness was still within him. Much was made of Kershaw’s disappointment in starting game two. However, Kershaw showed the mark of an unselfish leader and champion. Kershaw went eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits and no walks.
The Dodgers got on the board with a two-run home run by Manny Machado. Yasmani Grandal added a solo shot in the fifth inning, and it was all that the Dodgers would need. Kenley Jansen locked down his only save of the series in the ninth inning with a little drama. The save was Jansen’s 14th of his postseason career – and the win was Kershaw’s eighth of his illustrious October career.
The Dodgers made it a melancholy Sunday night – dropping their only game of the series. Walker Buehler started the game and walked in the first run with a bases-loaded walk to opposing pitcher Sean Newcomb. Ronald Acuna hit a grand slam the very next turn in the order to put the Dodgers in a 5-0 hole.
Nevertheless, Los Angeles battled like they always do. Chipping away, Justin Turner scored two in the very next frame with a single. The Dodgers broke through in the 5th off Kevin Gausman with a two-run home run from Chris Taylor and a monster solo shot from Max Muncy to tie the game at five.
Freddie Freeman’s home run in the bottom of the sixth off Alex Wood was the run that stood up as the winner in a 6-5 game. Buehler’s postseason debut did not go as planned: seven strikeouts, but three walks and five earned runs.
The Dodgers would need to battle back once more to clinch the series and knock out the tough young Braves squad. Ryan Madson and Pedro Baez were electric in their respective relief appearances of Rich Hill.
Trailing 2-1, David Freese was in a full count and singled in two runs to give the Dodgers a lead they wouldn’t let go of on the day. Nerves remained tense until Manny Machado hit a three-run home run an inning later in the top of the seventh. The bullpen did not allow a run in 4.2 innings of work, culminated by Jansen throwing a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts.
The Dodgers again celebrated a series in another team’s clubhouse, leaving them in their wake on the path for the one item that has eluded them. They are just eight wins from that now.
[button color=”yellow” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-defeat-braves-and-head-to-the-nlcs-in-milwaukee-bs0193/2018/10/08/”]Dodgers Defeat Braves, Move On To NLCS[/button]