Braves Walk-Off Again, Beat Dodgers 5-4 in Game 2 to Take 2-0 Lead in NLCS – NBC Los Angeles
Eddie Rosario knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, and the Atlanta Braves walked-off for the second straight game, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series.
A warm autumn day in Atlanta quickly turned into a cold and crisp autumn evening before first pitch. Fans poured into the ballpark to watch their beloved Braves, but by the time they got to their seats the Dodgers had already jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Mookie Betts led off the game with a walk, and Corey Seager crushed a first-pitch curveball from Ian Anderson into the Braves’ bullpen in right field for an early 2-0 lead.
Over the last two seasons, Seager has swung at the first pitch 52 percent of the time.
Just as consistent as Seager is at swinging at the first pitch he sees, so are Anderson’s struggles in the first inning.
Anderson had a 6.38 ERA and allowed a high of 17 runs in the first inning this season for Atlanta.
Max Scherzer cruised through the first three innings of the game until he got thunderstruck by a former Dodger in the bottom half of the fourth.
The irresistible force paradox arises when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. That’s essentially what occurred when red-hot Joc Pederson stepped into the batter’s box against Scherzer with one out and a runner on first base.
Clutching his pearls, Pederson crushed a curveball into the second-deck in right field for a game-tying two-run home run.
The 454-foot homer was the longest of the 2021 postseason so far, surpassing Giants’ slugger Darin Ruf’s 452-foot shot against Julio Urias in Game 5 of the NLDS.
The home was also the first home run allowed by Scherzer on a curveball since his very first start of the season on April 6, also against Atlanta. That home run came off the bat of Freddie Freeman. Freeman started the NLCS with a career-high seven consecutive strikeouts before he hit a sac fly in the bottom of the eighth.
Chris Taylor broke a 2-2 tie in the 7th inning with a two-run double that gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
Before Taylor could turn from zero to hero, first they had to break the Braves belief that the Dodgers were incapable of coming up with a clutch hit.
Prior to Taylor’s two-run double, the Dodgers had left 14 men on base and were a combined 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in the series.
So with two outs and the bases loaded, the Braves believed Taylor would do what the team had done for the better part of two games and strand the runners.
Instead, he blooped a ball into center field that was overrun by Guillermo Heredia and the Dodgers had their first hit with runners in scoring position of the game, and a two-run lead.
The lead would be short-lived as Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts opted for expected Game 4 starter Julio Urias out of the bullpen to pitch the bottom half of the eighth in favor of Brusdar Graterol.
The move immediately backfired as Urias struggled with command and his pitches.
Rosario led off the inning with a single off Urias, and tagged on a sacrifice fly by Freeman. Ozzie Albies, who scored the game-winning run in Game 1, followed with an RBI single that scored Rosario.
One pitch later, the man responsible for Saturday night’s walk-off victory, Austin Riley, doubled off the wall in center to tie the game at 4-4. Urias would settle down to keep the game tied, but the damage was already done.
Rosario struck again in the bottom of the ninth. With pinch-runner Christian Pache on second, Rosario singled off the glove of Seager to score the game-winning run, give the Braves their second straight walk-off victory.
Atlanta now leads the best-of-seven NLCS as the series shifts back to Los Angles for Game 3 on Tuesday.