NLCS Game 5 Recap: Dodgers Momentum Shift Leads to Victory Over Braves

NLCS Game 5 Recap: Dodgers Momentum Shift Leads to Victory Over Braves

by October 17, 2020 0 comments

After a dominant performance from the Atlanta Braves in Game 4, the Los Angeles Dodgers bounced back, with Game 5’s turning point. Mookie Betts made a solid catch as the ball headed towards the ground to end the third inning. Since then, the Dodgers’ bats woke up and scored seven go-ahead runs to claim Game 5 with a final score of 7-3.

The Braves went with a bullpen game by starting A.J. Minter on the mound. He is the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to make his first career start in the postseason. Los Angeles went with the hard-throwing Dustin May, who aimed to continue his success in the postseason, with one win in three starts and no earned runs.


Game 5 started off promising for the Braves. Atlanta’s bats immediately showed up in the first inning. Freddie Freeman hit a one-out double off Muncy’s glove. After Marcell Ozuna drew a walk to put runners on the corners, Travis d’Arnaud hit a sac fly to deep right to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

Dansby Swanson opened up the bottom of the second with a leadoff walk. After Austin Riley struck out swinging, Nick Markakis hit a single through the third base gap, advancing Swanson to third. Rookie Cristian Pache followed with an RBI single to give the Braves a 2-0 lead.

However, the momentum shifted in the bottom of the third inning. Ozuna and d’Arnaud started off with back-to-back singles. Ozzie Albies grounded out but advanced both runners to scoring position. The Dodgers bounced back with Betts’s running catch to end the inning. The play was originally ruled a sac fly. However, Dave Roberts’s challenge overturned the call since Ozuna left third base before the catch was made.

The Dodgers took control of Game 5 since that play. Corey Seager hit a lead-off home run to center field in the fourth inning to cut Atlanta’s lead to 2-1. The Dodgers’ bats arrived in the sixth, with Betts’ infield single to start the inning. After Turner drew a walk on a 3-2 count, Will Smith hits a three-run homer to give Los Angeles a 4-2 lead. The Dodgers added three more runs in the seventh inning off a Betts RBI single and Seager’s two-run home run to extend the lead to 7-2. Atlanta’s offensive struggles continued until d’Arnaud hit an RBI groundout to decrease the lead to 7-3. Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth inning to push the NLCS to Game 6 with a 7-3 victory.


Seager had the best offensive performance for the Dodgers as he finished 2-4 with three RBI’s and two home runs. Despite Smith’s struggles in the postseason, his three-run home run saved the Dodgers from elimination in Game 5. May finished the game with 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB and 3 K. Betts performed well, finishing 2-4 with an RBI and run scored.

Minter threw a career game, finishing with 3 IP, 1 H, and 7 K. Jacob Webb struggled in Game 5, finishing with a stat line of 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER and 3 K. Atlanta’s bats struggled overall, but Freeman did finish 2-4 with two doubles.

What’s Next?

The Dodgers and Braves meet for a crucial Game 6 as Los Angeles still faces elimination. Walker Buehler and Max Fried will face each other once again on the mound. Buehler is dealing with some blisters on his fingers, so it could play a factor in starting pitching in Game 6. Fried will look to continue his strong postseason and series. Buehler aims to limit his walks in Game 6 as he gave up five in Game 1. Chris Taylor will be out of the Dodgers’ lineup due to an ankle injury suffered in Game 5.

Date: Saturday, Oct. 17 at 4:39 p.m. EST


Stadium: Globe Life Park

Location: Arlington, Tex.

Dodgers’ Pitcher: Walker Buehler | 0-0, 2.77 ERA (postseason)
Braves’ Pitcher: Max Fried | 0-0, 2.65 ERA (postseason)

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Main Image Credit: 
Embed from Getty Images

Nicolette Rojo is a first-year graduate student, freelance reporter, producer, podcaster, SPJ and BEA member who covers NFL, MLB and other breaking new across all professional leagues. Follow on Twitter: @NicRojo242.

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