NLCS Game 2 Recap: Braves Power Past Dodgers in Rookie Postseason Matchby Yehuda Schwartz October 14, 2020 1 comment
The Los Angeles Dodgers came in after a heartbreaking 5-1 late-inning loss and collapse on Monday night against the Atlanta Braves. Walker Buehler was outdueled by Max Fried who pitched a dominant six innings with nine strikeouts. Freddie Freeman started the game with a monster home run in the first inning against Walker Buehler. This continued in Game 2, as the Braves held on to win 8-7, despite a late-inning spark from the Dodger bats.
In Game 1, the Atlanta bullpen continued to hold the Dodgers to their lone run from the bat of Kike Hernandez in the bottom of the fifth against Max Fried. Austin Riley broke the 1-1 tie in the ninth inning with a monster shot against Blake Treinen and after that, the Dodger bullpen caved in. The Dodgers came in looking to tie the series up at 1-1. Clayton Kershaw was scratched at the last minute with back spasms. Tony Gonsolin got the start.
Gonsolin started the game with some power, throwing a 98-mile-per-hour fastball up and in to Ronald Acuna Jr. to set the tone. The first three innings were fairly uneventful other than a couple of walks and a monster fly out by Chris Taylor, in which rookie Cristian Pache made a nice running catch. The bottom of the fourth provided the first fireworks as Freeman hit a two-run home run bringing in Acuña Jr., who walked to start the inning. The Braves tagged on one more run in the fifth inning, when Pache knocked in Nick Markakis on a double.
Freeman then knocked in Pache a few batters later. The Braves loaded the bases and scored on a walk by Travis d’Arnaud.
The Dodgers finally broke their ice in the bottom of the seventh, when Corey Seager smashed a three-run home run off of Darren O’Day, knocking in Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor. This brought the Dodgers within four. In the top of the ninth, Albies hit a home run for the second straight night.
Josh Tomlin came into the game in the ninth and Seager hit an RBI double, bringing in Mookie Betts to make the game interesting at 8-4. A couple of batters later, Max Muncy scared the Braves with a two-run home run scoring Seager to make it an 8-6 ballgame. Mark Melancon would come in and allow Cody Bellinger to triple in Will Smith, who reached on an error by Albies. This made it a tightrope 8-7 game. However, Melancon closed it out despite the scare.
On the pitching side, Braves rookie Ian Anderson was very impressive, only allowing one hit and punching out five through four innings. He did have some command issues, walking five, but had no effect on him. Veteran lefty Tyler Matzek came in and gave two innings of relief allowing only one hit and one walk. The Braves bullpen imploded, giving up four runs in the ninth but ended up retaining the lead.
On the Dodgers end, Gonsolin only lasted four-plus innings allowing three hits, five runs, walked three, but struck out seven. The Dodgers bullpen was not very impressive, allowing an additional three hits, three runs, and four walks while only striking out five more Braves.
The Dodgers’ powerful lineup struggled, striking out ten times. The pitching was erratic, which certainly didn’t help the Dodgers offensive efforts. Seager was really the only bright spot for the Dodgers going 2-4 with a home run, a double, and four RBI’s. Betts also went 1-3 with two walks. Bellinger broke his hitless streak in the ninth with an RBI triple and Muncy hit his first homer in the ninth.
The Braves were powered by the same two hitters as Game 1 in Freeman and Albies. Freeman went 2-4 with a homer and three RBI’s. Albies went 3-4 with a homer and two RBI’s. Anderson was impressive over four as mentioned above. O’Day and Tomlin combined five runs to the Dodgers, but the rest of the Atlanta bullpen struck out six and allowed only one run in the four ensuing innings following Anderson’s departure. He now has 15 scoreless innings this postseason as a rookie.
The Braves now go into Wednesday’s game with a 2-0 series lead against the Dodgers. The Dodgers will send young star lefty Julio Urias to the mound to face Braves’ youngster Kyle Wright. The Braves will be without Adam Duvall for the remainder of the playoffs due to a left oblique strain. Johan Camargo replaced him in Game 2. Kershaw is questionable for a Game 4 start as he waits to see how his back responds to a bullpen session.
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, at 6:05 p.m. EST
Stadium: Globe Life Stadium
Location: Arlington, TX
Dodgers Pitcher: Julio Urias | 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 K
Braves Pitcher: Kyle Wright | 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 K
Check us out on our socials:
Follow Yehuda Schwartz on Twitter @yaschwa30
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images