In a very exciting and intense game, it was Austin Riley and his massive kicks that made the difference and helped the Braves win 3-2 – giving Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the 2021 NLCS.
The Dodgers went with Corey Knebel as the opening goal for the second game in a row and the Braves were able to capitalize on it. New front hitter Eddie Rosario got a knockout to start things off and then stole second base while Freddy Freeman scored to score one. A penalty kick from Ozzie Albies moved him to third and then Rosario crossed the board to give Atlanta an early lead after Knebel threw wild ground, that was all the Braves got, but it was a rare example of the Braves doing a little bit of an ABC baseball game to bring the running.
Because the Dodgers are the Dodgers, they responded immediately. In what was the topic for tonight, LA really got to work once there were a couple of limbs on the board. This time around, AJ Pollock hit a double, then Chris Taylor followed up with a single to color Pollock and tie the game. Just like that, the game was tied down and things got tense again soon after the euphoria.
There was no more scoring until the fourth inning, which is when the Dodgers broke the tie in a rowdy fashion. At this particular bat, Max Fried threw two of his best curveballs he’s been throwing all night to lead 0-2 over another Will Smith. He then went for a third-court fastball and Smith sent it flying through the air and over the fence to get the go-ahead, and the solo lead on his turf. Then the Dodgers came down in order but Homer Smith really felt like a big hit after the way he started off to bat with Fried.
Fortunately, it was Atlanta’s turn to provide a quick response and it came in stunning form from Austin Riley. After Ozzie flew in to start the inning, Riley pulled out the third pitch and saw a path over the bulls in left field and steered clear of the benches in a fair area to make it a tie game again. It was really an impressive batting by Riley to keep it fair and everyone in that stadium was so happy to see him get over the fence.
From then on, both teams proceeded to hit each other with bodily blows for the vast majority of this game. Max Fried didn’t have the best of him but by the time he left the game after the sixth inning, these two runs from earlier were all the Dodgers had in their name. Meanwhile, the Bullpen were working wonders in Los Angeles as they routinely sat on the Braves batsman with relatively little trouble. Both crews were up to the task and rose to the occasion at this event and it was amazing to watch. Tyler Matzik and Luke Jackson continued to turn off the lights on the hill.
Eventually I made it to the final stages of the game and both teams went into their usual arms of late. Kenley Jansen retired from the side in the order of the bottom eighth, which means it was Will Smith’s time at the top of the ninth. As usual, Will Smith didn’t make things easy. He was given up in the first round of the match by any bowler on both teams and it happened with two naysayers on the board because of that of course. Then Cody Bellinger came to pinch the hit, and while he came up with one song, Chris Taylor gave the Braves a huge favor after being dumped on core tracks like Nincompoop. The Braves used to give other teams those kinds of gifts during the postseason, so it was really good to see that happen for Atlanta this time around.
It ended up being a major breath of life for the brave at the bottom of the ninth. The Dodgers went with Blake Treinen trying to get into extra innings and while Freddie Freeman hit to hang Golden Sombrero over his head, the next two hitters went superbly to Atlanta. Ozzie Albies got a blob that somehow found some grass, then stole second base in order to clear the way for Austin Riley. The 2021 MVP nominee got a chance to shine when it really mattered, right Start shine.
Austin Riley’s match capped a very exciting 3-2 victory for the Braves and gave them a decisive 1-0 lead in the NLCS. The stadium staff stepped up again and put on a performance worthy of the occasion, and their superb effort on the hill was enough to keep the Braves in the match. When it came to movement on the board, the Braves were able to take a win over the Dodgers because Austin Riley said so.
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