Rosario, Braves Handle Dodgers in NLCS Game 4

After the Dodgers seemingly grabbed a bit of momentum in Game 3 on Tuesday, the Braves came right back in Game 4 on Wednesday to defeat Los Angeles 9-2 and take a 3-1 series lead.

With a victory in Game 5 on Thursday, the Braves can secure their first National League pennant since 1999.

The Braves used three swings of the bat to get all the runs they needed. In the top of the second inning, Eddie Rosario, who’s having a scorcher of a series, went back-to-back with Adam Duvall to get on the board early. In the third, Freddie Freeman hit a solo shot to right to extend the lead to three.

Atlanta added another run in the third when Joc Pederson drove home Duvall with a single to center. After three full innings, the Dodgers still didn’t have a baserunner as the Braves appeared to be in total control.

The Braves plated another run in the top of the fifth when Duvall hit a sacrifice fly to score Ozzie Albies, who led off the inning with a single to center.

After using Julio Urias as a reliever in Game 2, skipper Dave Roberts stated in the pregame that he still expected around 90 pitches from his lefty starter. Urias ended up throwing 92 pitches over five full innings, but he appeared to be tired and frustrated at times, and the Braves took advantage of at least three of the balls he left over the fat part of the plate.

The Dodgers never saw their first baserunner until Corey Seager walked in the bottom of the fourth.

Los Angeles showed a bit of life in the bottom of the fifth. Gavin Lux struck out to start the inning, but Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger hit back-to-back singles to give the Dodgers some baserunning action. Chris Taylor followed with a flyout, then AJ Pollock singled to right driving home both JTurner and Bellinger.

Pinch-hitting to start the bottom of the seventh, Albert Pujols ripped a single to left. However, JTurner followed with a grounder to third, which was probably his final AB of the 2021 postseason. After the double-play, JTurner was wincing in pain from a hamstring injury that appears to be quite severe.

Phil Bickford and Justin Bruihl followed Urias and held the Atlanta offense at bay. Tony Gonsolin threw a scoreless eighth, but he got hammered in the top of the ninth after allowing four runs, highlighted by a three-run blast to right field by Rosario, his second of the night.

Rosario was the big offensive contributor for Atlanta, going 4-for-5 with two homers and a triple.

Lefty Drew Smyly was the official game winner in what was a bullpen game for the Braves. The 32-year-old veteran went 3-1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits and a walk while striking out two.

Urias took the loss.

Game 5 is scheduled for a 5:08 p.m. Pacific first pitch on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.

6 thoughts on “Rosario, Braves Handle Dodgers in NLCS Game 4

  1. The good ship Dodgers has more leaks than the Leaky Lena. Losing Turner is a huge blow. They have more talent and RBI’s sitting on the bench than they do on the field. This may have been the death knell to probably one of the best and yet most frustrating seasons for Dodger fans ever. It can be said that this team never saw or realized it’s full potential. They lost the division by one game. They worked through injuries to not just fringe guys, but their stars. They lost their biggest free agent signing to some really bad judgement on his part. That and the injuries to May and Kershaw forced AF’s hand at the deadline and he brought in Scherzer and Turner. His deal for Duffy was a bust and so was the signing of Cole Hamels. One thing in my mind he never did address was the bench. Outside of the trade for McKinney in July, he went with a slew of AAAA guys who couldn’t hit my grandmother and she is dead. Souza, Raley, Reks, Peters, Tsutsugo, Burns, Neuse. Every one of those guys hit below the Mendoza line, as did McKinney. Only Neuse and Raley had more than one HR. They lost McKinstry to injury and he never really was the same after that. The Giants on the other hand got great production out of a bunch of retreads. The Braves, missing Ozuna and Acuna traded for Pederson, Duvall, Soler, and Rosario. All of those guys have given Atlanta a pretty potent offense. And all of them except Soler, who is on the Covid protocol, have given the Dodgers a hard time in this series. Now it is win or go home. Backs to the wall. Play like a Champion or set up your tee times. Rosario will probably end up being the MVP of the NLCS this year, while last years winner is limping through this series with a sub .250 average. The Dodgers potent offense has been flat. Their pitchers are worn out. And they lost what ever momentum they gained from the big win on Wednesday with a pitiful performance last night. Now they have to beat the Braves hottest and best pitcher to stay alive. I do not have a whole lot of confidence that they can get that done. They completed the trade for Duffy sending RHP Zach Willemann to the Royals,

    1. Very good recap Bear. The only thing you missed was the complete lack of talent on the farm, pitchers or position players. What agrivated me was it was obvious in the second half of the season that the dodgers knew there was nothing on the farm
      and didn’t try to remedy the situation.

      1. There is plenty of talent on the farm. The problem is that most of that talent is at the lower levels. Pages, Outman, Vargas, Miller, Pepiot, Cartaya, Jackson, with a few exceptions, all these guys are at AA or lower. Add Carson Taylor to that list. 22 year old switch hitting catcher. They have lots of lower level talent. AAA has become the bailiwick of players used to fill the roster who have MLB experience. Just look at the former MLB players they had at OKC. Some of whom came up, and most of whom made little impact. Souza, McKinney, Quackenbush, Kickham, Feliz, Brandon Morrow who was injured and never played a game, Pazos, Tropeano, the list goes on. They had two catchers at AAA who had MLB experience, neither one was a very good offensive catcher, Davidson, Asuaje, Soto, infielders, Next season you will probably see Outman at AAA and a couple of others. They have 6 players playing in the AFL right now. So help is on the way, just not at the present time. Pages is probably 2 years away as is outfield prospect Luis Rodriguez. They will do what they have been doing, trading fringe players, sign a free agent or two. Unfortunately they have a ton of their own free agents to make decisions on this winter.

  2. A minor point, but we got rid of Yoshi Tsutsugo just when he had figured out how to hit again. Apparently all that time we spent on him finally started to pay off at OKC and then we released him.

    In a little under 150 plate appearances for the Pirates his OPS was .883 where the average major leaguer this year was in the low .700’s.

    So, at the end of the year when McKinney, Raley, etc. were flailing away for us Yoshi was hitting his tail off in Pittsburgh. Oh well. I don’ think we can honestly say that if we still had him we would be up 3-1 now against the Braves. Maybe all those other reasons had slightly more to do with our lack of success.

    1. Yeah Tsutsugo figured it out. Pirates are very interested in bringing him back. I just wish they had brought in someone like Duvall or Soler. Guys with some serious power.

  3. Ok Bear. Never been a believer in players in the low minors until they are not. Almost always spend some time at triple a. The players you mention are exactly the same players we talked about 10 years (or 5 years) ago. Just different names. Farm system has to have a few players ready for the show or its not a good farm. Dodgers picked up at least 10/12 players released by other teams which meant they new they didn’t have anybody on the farm and were just crossing their fingers. The 8 low level players you named may well be talented and it’s even possible that 2 or even 3 may be future dodgers. Most people on this blog know there is a huge difference between triple a and the majors, talented or not, and majority of players crash and burn between single A and the big leagues. You only have to look at the first round picks the past 10 years.

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