For the fourth time in six years, the Dodgers successfully completed the first big postseason step toward fulfilling the dreams of Los Angeles, this time defeating the Atlanta Braves, 6-2, at SunTrust Park to capture the National League Division Series three games to one.
It’s the first time in franchise history they have advanced to the National League Championship Series for three consecutive seasons. It’s their third postgame party in 10 days. They’ve been there. They’ve done that. Now it’s time for the real work.
In a pinch
No stranger to the October stage, David Freese delivered a sixth-inning single that drove in the equalizing and go-ahead runs in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. The 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday secured a series victory, as well as a place in the NL Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Manny Machado jumped on a 95-mph fastball, launching a three-run homer which solidified the Dodgers’ capture of the National League Division Series over the Braves.
The Dodgers now face the bullpen-strong and power-hitting Brewers, who will have home-field advantage. The series start Friday.
NLDS Game 3 | Braves 6 Dodgers 5
The Dodgers gathered to lick their wounds after a 6-5 defeat to Atlanta in Game 3 of the National League Division Series cost them a chance for a sweep.
And so the Dodgers were forced to spend another day in Georgia, unable to secure a spot against Milwaukee in the National League Championship Series. Rich Hill will start Game 4 on Monday afternoon, facing Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who lasted only two innings in Game 1.
Inside the maelstrom of chanting fans, Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler searched for both his release point and an escape route. Neither would appear against fellow rookie sensation Ronald Acuna. Buehler stuck with the fastball at 3-1. Acuna crushed the baseball into the left-field seats to become the youngest player in postseason history to hit a grand slam.
NLDS Game 2 | Dodgers 3 Braves 0
Manny Machado is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a first inning two-run homer off Braves starter Anibel Sanchez in game two of the NLDS.
This version of Mannywood is more understated than the original by several orders of magnitude. The current protagonist isn't cracking jokes about appearing on Spanish-language soap operas. He certainly isn't renaming this city after himself within a few months of his arrival.
What Manny Machado does share with his predecessor is his ability to change the game with a single stroke of his Rawlings bat.
Kept on the bench for Game 1, Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw responded with the lengthiest playoff outing of his career. Across eight scoreless innings, he permitted two hits. He struck out only three, but preyed on the eagerness of the Braves. He finished at-bats in expedient fashion, needing only 85 pitches, as the Dodgers shot out the Atlanta Braves 3-0 in Game 2 of the NLDS.
NLDS Game 1 | Dodgers 6 Braves 0
Boom! Eleven minutes into the game, Joc Pederson drives a leadoff home run over the right-center field fence.
Crash! One inning later, Max Muncy gets funky with a three-run homer that disappears into the right-field pavilion.
The Ryu factor
Tapped as the starting pitcher for Game 1 of the NLDS, Hyun-Jin Ryu didn’t disappoint. Ryu pitched seven shoutout innings Thursday in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of their National League Division Series.
The depth of the Dodgers overwhelmed the Braves and their starting pitcher anesthetized Atlanta’s bats. Ryu, who started in place of Clayton Kershaw, yielded four singles and struck out eight. He did not permit a Brave to stand on third base.