The Braves continued their playoff dominance with their seventh consecutive postseason win this year, an 8-7 win over the Dodgers in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday. Despite leading 7-0, the Braves had to hold on with the Dodgers having the potential tying run on third base.
Here’s what you need to know about the victory.
Score first, win
The Braves have scored first in all seven games, all wins, in the postseason. They have outscored their opponents 37-13, and five of the runs allowed came in one game against the Marlins.
How it started
Braves starter Ian Anderson needed 29 pitches to get out of the first inning. He didn’t allow a hit but two walks. Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin needed 28 to get through three perfect innings. Gonsolin needed 33 pitches to get out of the fourth inning, though, and trailed 2-0 when it was over after a Freddie Freeman home run.
Impressive rookie I
Anderson has not allowed a run in all three of his postseason starts, over 15-2/3 innings. He is the first pitcher in Braves franchise history to make three consecutive scoreless starts in the postseason.
Impressive rookie II
Cristian Pache, who started in center field because of the injury to Adam Duvall, got his first postseason hit with an RBI double in the fifth inning.
The big inning
The Braves scored four runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-0 lead. They sent nine batters to the plate and got four walks and two hits, Pache’s RBI double and Freeman’s RBI single. Travis d’Arnaud got an RBI with a bases-loaded walk.
No offense early
The mighty Dodgers offense had only one hit through five innings. By the time they got their second hit, in the sixth inning, they trailed by six runs. Corey Seager hit a three-run homer in the seventh, and Max Muncy hit a two-run homer in the ninth as part of a comeback to make the game interesting, that included the tying run on third base before the final out.
The Braves got a spectacular defensive play in the bottom of the first inning. The Dodgers had a runner on first when Will Smith smashed a grounder to third base. Austin Riley snagged it and threw wide to first base. Freeman stretched out fully on the ground to take the throw, keeping his foot on the bag. The Dodgers challenged the out call, which was confirmed.
Ozzie Albies and Freeman have each homered in both games of the series. In Game 2, Albies hit his homer in the ninth inning, to put the Braves up 8-3. It turned out to be the winning run. In the strangest of useless information, both of Albies home runs were caught by closer Mark Melancon while warming up in the bullpen.
Rest of NLCS schedule
Game 3 will be a 6:05 p.m. start. The rest of the series will look like this, depending on the status of the ALCS.
Game 4 – 8:08 p.m.
Game 5 – 8:08 p.m. if one game, 9:08 p.m. if two games
Game 6 – 7:08 p.m. if one game, 4:38 p.m. if two games
Game 7 – 8:15 p.m.
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