Braves Take Control of 2021 NLCS After Second Consecutive Walk Off

The Braves walked off for the second consecutive night against the Dodgers, taking a 2-0 series lead as the action shifts back to Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Tied at four runs apiece, Brusdar Graterol took the hill for the Dodgers in the ninth only to allow a leadoff single to Travid d’Arnaud. Dansby Swanson followed with a bunt attempt and ended up at first on a fielder’s choice. Swanson advanced to second on a Guillermo Heredia groundout, setting the stage for the game-winning hit.

Los Angeles skipper opted to use Kenley Jansen with two outs, who surrendered a single to Eddie Rosario that deflected off Corey Seager’s glove, walking the Braves off yet again.

The Dodgers got the scoring started in the top of the first when Seager hit a 401-foot homer to right-center field, also plating Mookie Betts, who led the game off with a bloop single to left.

With Max Scherzer as the Los Angeles starter, the Dodgers seemed to be in good shape at that point, but the Braves struck back in the fourth inning when Joc Pederson hit a shot to deep right, scoring Austin Riley, who walked one batter prior.

To the surprise of just about everybody, skipper Dave Roberts pulled Scherzer after just 79 pitches with two outs in the fifth in favor of lefty Alex Vesia. The move was questionable at the time, as Vesia surrendered a single to the lefty-hitting Rosario, but Vesia worked his way out of the first and second-base jam by striking out the final two batters he faced.

Scherzer’s final line was 4-1/3 innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out seven.

In the middle innings, it felt like another one of those prototypical games when the Dodgers would squander many scoring opportunities.

In the third inning, Seager walked, and Trea Turner followed with a liner to right that was brilliantly tracked down by Rosario in left. Will Smith hit a single, but the Dodgers ran out of gas after a Gavin Lux pop-out and a Chris Taylor punchout.

In the sixth inning, Taylor led off with a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on a Cody Bellinger flyout, but remained stranded after both AJ Pollock and pinch-hitter Albert Pujols struck out.

However, in the eighth the Dodgers finally cashed in when a Taylor bloop double to center scored Betts and Smith, who both walked earlier in the inning.

From there, it appeared as if the Dodgers had control with a 4-2 lead.

Joe Kelly took the hill for the Dodgers in the sixth and was perfect. Blake Treinen threw the seventh and allowed a walk, but otherwise held the Braves at bay.

Nevertheless, the Los Angeles coaching staff provided fans with another surprise by running Julio Urias out in relief with a 4-2 lead in the top of the eighth. Rosario led off the frame for Atlanta with a single, advanced to second on a Freddie Freeman flyout to left, and later scored on a single to right by Ozzie Albies.

But the Braves weren’t done there. Riley followed with a double to deep right field that tied the game at four runs apiece. Urias struck out Pederson and Ehire Adrianza to end the inning, but the damage was already done.

The Dodgers couldn’t find any momentum in the top of the ninth, setting the stage for the Atlanta walk off in the bottom of the frame.

Atlanta starting pitcher Ian Anderson lasted just three full innings after allowing two earned runs on three hits and three walks. He threw 55 pitches. The Braves used a total of eight pitchers on the night.

Los Angeles used seven total pitchers after running out eight the night before.

Will Smith the Reliever collected his second win in as many nights; Graterol was credited with the loss.

The Dodgers left a whopping 20 runners on base and were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

7 thoughts on “Braves Take Control of 2021 NLCS After Second Consecutive Walk Off

  1. This season has left me worn out more than any other recent one that I can remember.

    I view myself as a fan of a 110 win team that has underachieved. Is that even possible? It just seems as though they have not reached their potential, especially on offense. You can just count on your pitchers to hold you up for so long and then they run into situations where their arms are ready to fall off. Scherzer had that problem last night and after using Urias, who knows how many innings we’ll get out of him on Wednesday. Assuming we win at least one of the next two games, that sets us up for another bullpen game. Maybe we pull off another miracle, but you can climb that hill only so often before you eventually stumble.

    Maybe we’ll come back to win this series and the World Series as well, but if we’re eliminated this week, I’ve already decided I won’t be mad, just disappointed. And I keep thinking of the job AF has ahead of him. He won’t be getting much sleep between now and February, whether we win or lose. If it were me, I’d try to add some pieces to the lineup so that it’s more consistent and we don’t have low score, low score, explosion, low score which it seems is how the season has gone this year. And so many decisions ahead for the pitching staff. Kershaw, Kenley, Bauer, Scherzer, plus others. I’ll be a very interested observer and glad I’m not in the middle of it all.

  2. The lifting of Scherzer was later explained as Max told Roberts his arm felt dead. Two things stand out. Stagnant offense, and Roberts huge micromanaging by putting his game 4 starter in there. He never should have pulled Graterol, and he should have left Treinen in for one more inning. With today a day off, and Treinen throwing less than 10 pitches, that made more sense. He also burned 2 hitters when he sent Pujols up to face a lefty and Beaty was burned. He emptied his bench, so if they went into extra’s, they would have no pinch hitters available. Trea Turner just missed putting them ahead. But I keep thinking they kept swinging for the fences with runners on instead of just moving the line.

  3. Roberts has made so many post season blunders over the years but this takes the cake. 7 game series, only 3 starters, one who cannot through the 5th inning, 2 run lead, 2 closers available and he brings in his game 4 starter? Was he going to pitch 2 innings? Either way he blew a starter. So now we’ll have 3 bullpen games? Even if Urias pitched 2 perfect innings. this was beyond stupid.

  4. Well it is gut check time. They need a win today. Lineup, Betts, Seager, TT, Smith, JT, Lux, Bellinger, Taylor, Buehler

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