NLCS Game 4 Recap: Braves Take Dodgers to Brink Behind Offensive Surge

NLCS Game 4 Recap: Braves Take Dodgers to Brink Behind Offensive Surge

by October 16, 2020 0 comments

After getting embarrassed in Game 3 by a 15-3 loss, the Atlanta Braves flipped the script in Game 4. The Dodgers scored a record 11 runs in the first inning in Game 3 on Wednesday and seemed to grab all the momentum. They were counting on future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to help tie this series. The Braves sent out 22-year old Bryse Wilson to duel the veteran.

Every starting batter in the Dodger lineup except Chris Taylor had a base hit in Game 3. Four of them, Corey Seager, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, and Joc Pederson, had multi-hit games. You would think that momentum would have carried over, but that was not the case. The Braves took Game 4 with a final score of 10-2 to put the Dodgers on the brink of elimination. Let’s see how it all went down.

Trading Long Balls

The game went through two scoreless before the Dodgers jumped ahead on an Edwin Rios solo home run in the third. That was the only scoring off of Wilson as he matched Kershaw pitch-by-pitch. Kershaw was pitching a shutout until Marcell Ozuna started the Braves’ scoring off with a solo homer of his own. In what was a pitcher’s duel, the young Wilson, who was making his first postseason start, outdueled the future Hall of Famer. The game got through five and a half innings still tied at 1. What happened next is something Dodger fans will want to forget.

Offensive Explosion

Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the bottom of the sixth with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Enrique Hernandez. Then, back-to-back doubles by Freddie Freeman and Ozuna gave the Braves a 3-1 lead, which knocked Kershaw out of the game. That wasn’t even close to the end of it as Brusdar Graterol came in for Kershaw. Travis d’Arnaud lined out to Mookie Betts before an Ozzie Albies single. Dansby Swanson lined one down the third base line, which brought in two more runs. With just one out in the inning, Austin Riley brought Swanson in on an RBI single, which forced Dave Roberts to make another excruciating walk to the mound. Victor Gonzalez replaced Graterol and gave up another run on a Cristian Pache RBI single. He finally sat Acuna and Freeman down to end the inning, but not before the Braves scored six runs.

Wilson got pulled from the game after the offensive outburst, as Will Smith came in. Smith loaded the bases with one out, forcing Brian Snitker to bring in Chris Martin. Martin got out of the jam after allowing just one run, which was charged to Smith. The Braves’ offense was not done yet. Ozuna hit his second homer of the game in the seventh inning off Dylan Floro. They added two more in the eighth inning as Freeman and Ozuna both added an RBI single to their stat lines. Tyler Matzek pitched a scoreless eighth for the Braves. Then, Shane Greene came in to close it out with a scoreless ninth.

Statistics

Ozuna was the most productive hitter for the Braves as he finished 4-5 with four RBI’s, three runs scored, and his two homers. He fell just a triple short of the cycle. Freeman finished with a 2-5 day with two RBI’s and one run scored. Acuna and Albies each had two hits. Wilson’s final stat line was: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, and 5 K. The Dodgers ended up with just three hits while the Braves had a mere 14. Justin Turner had two of the hits while Rios was the other with his homer. He also drove in the other Dodger run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Can the Braves Close it Out?

The Dodgers and Braves meet for a critical elimination Game 5 on Friday at 9:08 p.m. EST. Rookie Dustin May takes the bump for the Dodgers but will have a very short leash. It will be all hands on deck as they face elimination. The Braves will counter with A.J. Minter as their starter, but it will likely be a bullpen game. Snitker said that Huascar Ynoa and Grant Dayton would be the only relievers that are not available. Kyle Wright will be available.

May has pitched in three games (one start) this postseason and has not given up a run over 4 2/3 innings. His one start came against the San Diego Padres in the NLDS and was essentially the opener as he went one inning. Minter has pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief this postseason and holds a .125 BAA.

Date: Friday, Oct. 16 at 9:08 p.m. EST

TV: FS1

Stadium: Globe Life Park

Location: Arlington, Tex.

Dodgers’ Pitcher: Dustin May | 1-0, 0.00 ERA (postseason)
Braves’ Pitcher: A.J. Minter | 1-0, 3.86 ERA (postseason)

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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