The Atlanta Braves are hoping for a big 2019, after getting off to an awful start. The Dodgers have the most wins of any team in baseball this year, leading up to their playoff showdown with the Red Sox on Sunday.
If the Dodgers happen to win, they would become just the second team in MLB history to enter October with a losing record yet clinch the World Series. Will this be what triggers another nightmare scenario for Atlanta?
The “dodgers uniforms” is a team that has been struggling for the past few seasons. They are currently in first place, but they have not had much success in recent history. This could be their chance to finally win the World Series. However, if the Dodgers do win it will set up another nightmare scenario for the Braves.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In the seventh inning, as Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers hit his third home run of the game, Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker sat in his dugout chair and looked unblinkingly at some random location in the Dodger Stadium outfield. What was going on in front of him, as well as his response to it, appeared to be made up of disparate parts. His face was expressionless, and his body looked to slumber, as if by focusing his attention and being still, he might persuade himself that nothing was occurring. Or at the very least, that it was happening to someone else if that failed.
Now it’s time for the questions. The doubts have arrived. The Dodgers are on their way, against all odds.
There will be a Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, and based on how the Dodgers felt after their 11-2 victory, there will very certainly be a Game 7. These things appear to happen that way for no apparent reason, and now that the Dodgers have won seven consecutive elimination games in the last two postseasons, it’s reasonable to ask whether they set up these worst-case situations merely to get out of them.
“I mean, we obviously don’t like elimination games,” outfielder AJ Pollock said after hitting two home runs and assisting on at least one more. “We’re trying to get rid of the other teams.”
To be honest, it all seems kind of silly, which may have been one of Snitker’s thoughts as he watched from the bench as a guy who batted.111 over the final six weeks of the regular season smashed his third home run of the game. Dumb that this series is heading back to Atlanta after the Dodgers spent the better part of four games playing like amateurs, dumb that the Braves couldn’t even put up a fight in Game 5 with the Dodgers’ pitching staff down to beaks and claws and Atlanta’s fully rested ace Max Fried pitching, and especially dumb that the Dodgers’ hitters, who had been terrible all series, lost Justin Turner to injury in Game 4 and then came out of their shoes the next
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remarked, “I don’t know how to describe it.” “I’m relieved it occurred tonight. It’s… it’s baseball, after all. To be honest, I’d be content to simply offer you a series. I anticipated our men to fight, scratch, and claw, and I believe we did.”
The Braves were here last year, leading the NLCS by three games to one before dropping three straight to finish the season. The double helix of Atlanta sports history is so entwined with grand failure that one Atlanta reporter even slipped a “28-3” remark into a postgame question to Freddie Freeman.
“That’s going to be the story,” Freeman remarked, his face solemn but not defeated. “It’s been brought up in the past few days, so I don’t believe we have an option until that narrative is put to rest. Going home, we’re ahead 3-2. That’s an excellent situation to be in. We’re going to be alright, I believe.”
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“It’ll be the same with Justin and Max [Muncy], we’ll just have to work it out,” Robert remarked. “Not to be dismissive, but that’s where we’re at right now.”
However, Kelly was removed from the game and replaced by Evan Phillips, the first in a string of six Dodgers pitchers who each threw two or fewer innings while allowing no more than one hit. Pujols started for the first time in more than two weeks, basically replacing Turner, and he had two hits, a walk, and two runs scored on Taylor homers.
Pujols walked barefoot across each 90-foot increment, and the basepaths were littered with jagged, small pebbles. It’s evident that the guy will be able to hit when he’s 70; everything about his swing occurs above the waist at this point, but his hands are still swift and he has grown-man strength. And, in another encouraging sign for Pujols, he’ll probably still be sprinting like a 41-year-old when he’s 70.
The Dodgers sprinted off the field and down the dugout steps after the game, as the mariachi band continued to rock from its perch in the right-center field bleachers, and a sizable portion of the crowd remained. The Dodgers, on the other hand, did not applaud them or make any spectacular gestures during their NLCS final home game. They have two more elimination games in Atlanta, which may indicate that they have the Braves precisely where they want them. They didn’t need to say their goodbyes to Los Angeles since it seems like they want to return.
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