Dodgers Claim National League Pennant, Set Sights on World Series

Cody-Bellinger (1)
(Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports)

After having their backs against the wall the entire series, the Dodgers found a way to overcome the Braves in Game 7 on Sunday evening, delivering a come-from-behind 4-3 victory and earning the right to represent the National League in the 2020 World Series.

With the game tied at three in the seventh inning, Cody Bellinger landed perhaps the biggest hit of the series, launching a bomb to right field that finally put the Dodgers ahead.

“Two strikes, I was in battle mode. It was one of those where as soon as I hit it, I knew I got it,” Bellinger said in the postgame.

Things started off rocky for Los Angeles after Dustin May, in a brief opener’s role, found himself struggling after walking the first two batters of the game. One batter later, Marcell Ozuna singled on a roller to left to plate Ronald Acuna Jr. for the game’s first run, but May was able to limit any further damage.

Tony Gonsolin, who many initially presumed would start Game 7, surrendered a solo shot to the first batter he faced, shortstop Dansby Swanson, allowing the Braves to stretch their lead to two.

Gonsolin pitched a clean third, and after a Justin Turner walk and a Max Muncy double, Will Smith shot a single to center that scored both runners, tying the game at two in the bottom of the inning.

Gonsolin found himself in trouble in the fourth after a pair of walks and an Austin Riley RBI single, but Blake Treinen entered the game with nobody out and shut the Atlanta offense down after a double play that involved a rundown and a subsequent Cristian Pache groundout.

In what might have been the most pivotal moment of the game, pinch hitter Enrique Hernandez slammed the eighth pitch of his AB over the left-center field wall, tying the game at three in the sixth inning and seemingly shifting the momentum in favor of the Dodgers.

“We took care of business against the Brewers,” Hernandez said in an interview after the victory. “We took care of business against the Padres. And we took care of business against the Braves. It was a little harder than we thought it would be. But I’m glad we pulled it off.”

Julio Urias relieved Brusdar Graterol in the seventh inning and went the entire distance from there, registering his second win of the series. Urias was brilliant over his three full innings of work, allowing no hits or walks.

Corey Seager, after tallying two doubles, a whopping five homers, and 11 RBI in the series, was deservedly named the NLCS MVP.

The 2020 NL pennant is the Dodgers’ third in four years. It is the 24th in franchise history and the team’s 12th World Series appearance since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.

The Dodgers will now begin preparations for their American League counterparts, the Tampa Bay Rays.

The World Series begins on Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

9 thoughts on “Dodgers Claim National League Pennant, Set Sights on World Series

  1. I wish we could give a co-MVP to Mookie’s glove because it was deserving. He saved the series 3 different times without even holding the bat. That’s what makes the difference between an all-star and a superstar. I love Urias and he’s 100% deserving of a spot in the rotation but after tonight I’m convinced now he’s even more valuable to us in relief. There’s something about coming into a game that makes him pick it up a notch.

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  2. Sweet win last night. That’s what makes this team so special. So many different guys contributing.
    When a pitcher looks down our lineup, sure there are guys he would rather face than others, but every guy has the potential to turn the game around. Last night was Kike’s turn.
    And on defense, JT’s play totally stopped their momentum but Mookie and Belli did their fair share during the series to really stop the Braves dead in their tracks.
    It looked like May and Catman may have let the pressure get to them last night but then Urias saved the day. I wouldn’t hesitate to start a game with May or Gonsolin against the Rays. This series was a good learning experience for them.
    A really well-deserved win with a total team effort.

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  3. Well, I can finally get some decent sleep for a couple of days and on Tuesday, it all starts over again. This time I think they need to give us fans a break and bust out on top. A 2-0 lead would be nice. It sets up Kersh to pitch game 1. He will be rested and ready. And I think looking for major redemption.

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    1. Kersh has been looking for redemption for a long time. That doesn’t seem to make a difference. It will be what it will be.
      But it would sure be a nice finish to a horrific year in general (other than baseball) if we finally got that title and the MVP of the WS was Mr. Clayton Kershaw.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. Glasnow will be his opponent. In the past he has not fared too well against the Dodgers with an ERA of 13.40 and 2 homers allowed. Snell will pitch game 2 and he has only thrown 2 innings against the Dodgers. Kersh has faced Tampa twice and has a 2-0 record with a 1.88 ERA against them. He has allowed 3 homers to them. All 3 hit at Dodger Stadium the last time Tampa visited there.

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