Oh boy, what a roller coaster that was! The Dodgers never make it easy for us, do they? I was getting ready to write the story about how the Dodgers would play tomorrow with their backs against the wall.
Then came the craziness of the eighth inning. Will Smith and AJ Pollock managed to hit singles, then came up Cody Bellinger who hammered a game-tying three-run homer off of Braves reliever Luke Jackson as Dodger Stadium exploded.
Kenley Jansen then appeared like his prime self and struck out the side dominantly, giving the Dodgers the win and cutting the deficit to 2-1 in the NLCS.
It appeared early on that the Dodgers would get onto a comfortable lead on a first-inning run homer by Corey Seager. The Dodgers managed to get several runners on, but the story of the postseason continued as they failed to bring them in.
The 2 p.m. Pacific start time also came into effect in a negative way. There were several fly balls that were misplayed due to the sun. Most noticeably, one misplayed in center field by Gavin Lux allowed the Braves to tie the game and later take the lead.
The nightmare for the Blue Crew began in the top of the fourth aided by other external factors, as I mentioned previously the Lux misplay, but what appeared as strike three during a Joc Pederson at-bat was not called by the home plate umpire. The at-bat continued and Pederson slapped an RBI single to tie the game. From then on, the Braves took a 4-2 lead and added another run in the fifth inning to make it 5-2.
From that point, it seemed the Dodgers were changing pitchers every batter or so as they ran into traffic jams on the bases. However, the bullpen kept the game within reach.
And, it is a good thing they did, because that eighth inning might have just saved the Dodgers season. You’re now facing a 2-1 deficit at home, with a bullpen game for Atlanta coming up, as opposed to a 0-3 deficit.
The TBS broadcast before the eighth inning showed several fans leaving Dodger Stadium, and now I bet they wish they would have stayed, as you never leave a baseball game early regardless of the score.
It also marked the first time in Dodger franchise history that they came back from down three runs or more in the playoffs beyond the seventh inning.
The Dodgers also used nine pitchers in this game which is quite insane.
Walker Buehler only lasted 3 ⅔ innings allowing seven hits and four runs. Braves starter Charlie Morton lasted five innings only allowing two tuns.
The Dodgers, after all that, will now look to even up the series tomorrow as they hand the ball to 20 game-winner Julio Urias.
The left-handed Urias will start despite pitching in Game 2 in relief allowing two runs. The Braves have not announced a starter for tomorrow, it has been expected they may go for a bullpen game.
First pitch for Wednesday’s Game 4 is slated for 5:08 p.m. Pacific.