The tireless Atlanta Braves have put the Los Angeles Dodgers on their heels in the National League Championship Series.
On the back of another MVP-level performance from Freddie Freeman, the Braves held on for an 8-7 victory in Game 2. Atlanta now owns a 2–0 series lead and has two wins since the franchise’s first World Series appearance since 1999.
As he did in Game 1, Freeman opened the scoring with a home run. On Monday, it was the first opening single shot. This time, it was a two-run blast in the fourth inning. On both occasions, Freeman’s home runs were Atlanta’s first ball ball.
Freeman later added a run-scoring single in the Braves’ four-run fifth inning.
Atlanta’s explosion for the Dodgers continued for 24 hours. After watching his bullpen melt away in the ninth inning of Game 1, the Dodgers received even more bad news when Clayton Kershaw started from his scheduled Game 2 back after experiencing cramps.
Kershaw’s absence opened the door for Tony Gonsolin to make his postson debut. The 26-year-old right-hander responded with a strong start, facing the first nine batters. However, the Braves were able to adjust quickly, from that point on to a home run, double and three walks against Gonsolin.
While it was not the absolute dominance we saw in earlier postsmen, Atlanta’s pitching set the tone by holding the Dodgers loaded lineup in check until late in the inning. Despite walking five batters in four innings, Braves starter Ian Anderson extended his individual postson scorer streak to 15 2/3 innings. Five 22-year-old right-handed players were killed.
In the later innings things got far more interesting. The Dodgers scored three runs in the seventh on Corey Seeger’s home run and then brought the winning run to the plate with four runs. Closure Mark Melancon closed the door, forcing AJ Pollak to ground out with Cody Bellinger 90 feet away.
The game may have looked differently had the Dodgers capitalized on a scoring opportunity in the first innings. But thanks to the work of third baseman Austin Riley’s work gloves and the fancy footwork of Gold Glove first baseman Freddie Freeman, they couldn’t.
What will happen next
The Dodgers will try to avoid falling into a 3–0 hole in Game 3 on Wednesday.
Clayton Kershaw will be known to 24-year-old left-handed Julio Urías, already starting with the rule. This is a change of pace for Uris, who has been used almost exclusively as a reliever in his previous postson appearances. It would only be his second October debut, compared to the bullpen’s 13 outings. During the 2020 regular season, Yuris made 10 starts and posted a 3.27 ERA.
Atlanta will compete with Kyle Wright. The 25-year-old right-hander edged out the Marlins for six innings in NLDS Game 3, conceding just two runs in his final three overs and began dating back on 20 September. It would be Wright’s first career start against the Dodgers.
The first pitch of Game 3 is scheduled for 6:05 pm ET on Wednesday with TV coverage on FS1.
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