With the scene shifting to Dodger Stadium, a matchup of two rookies would take center stage. Both the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Braves’ Julio Teheran struggled mightily in their postseason debuts.
Ryu allowed four runs and six hits in only three innings of work Sunday evening while Teheran fared even worse, allowing six runs in 2.2 innings of work. The Braves scored two runs in the first inning off of Ryu, but Carl Crawford came up with the big hit of the night, a three-run home run in the second inning to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
The resilient Braves evened it up again 4-4, but Adrian Gonzalez put the Dodgers ahead for good in the third inning with an RBI single that followed a Hanley lead-off double. The Dodgers tacked on another four runs in the fourth inning led by Juan Uribe’s first home run of the postseason.
With Ramirez, Gonzalez, Puig, and Uribe each having big nights, the other major story was the three scoreless innings of relief thrown by Chris Capuano in his first postseason appearance in the Dodgers 13-6 win.
The Dodgers had initially planned to start Ricky Nolasco in Game 4, but with momentum on their side and wanting to play their best hand, the Dodgers sent Clayton Kershaw to the mound on three days rest. Kershaw responded by giving the Dodgers six innings of work and allowing only three hits, however, he was charged for two unearned runs as the Dodgers poor defense reared its ugly head.
Ronald Belisario entered the game in the seventh inning only to allow a one-out triple to the Braves’ eighth-place hitter, Elliot Johnson. Johnson scored on a single by Constanza and J.P. Howell came in to record the final two outs, but not before the Braves took a 3-2 lead.
Puig led off the eighth inning with a double to right center, a trademark Puig hit, that for most of guys would have been a single. Uribe came up next and attempted to bunt, not the first time Dodgers fans have seen Mattingly try and utilize Uribe this way. Uribe laid down two foul balls in a row, before holding back to watch the next two pitched go out of the zone.
On a 2-2 count, Braves’ reliever David Carpenter threw the next pitch up in the zone and Uribe crushed it deep into the left field bullpen for his second home run of this postseason to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead.
After Brian Wilson threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning, Kenley Jansen mowed down the Braves in the ninth, striking out the side and sending the Dodgers to their first NLCS since 2009. The Pirates and Cardinals play Game 5 Wednesday to determine who will meet the Dodgers in the next round.
The NLCS starts on Friday so the team will have some time to recuperate mentally and physically from the series. Zack Greinke is the projected starter for Game 1 followed by Kershaw in Game 2.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers’ to the NLCS.