2024-06-13 13:43:14
Braves win NLCS 2021 – Daily Sporting News
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Braves win NLCS 2021

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Braves win NLCS 2021

ATLANTA — There was little to lose considering nobody expected them to get this far after having to overcome so much. But the Braves had reason to feel like they won everything as they dethroned the defending World Series champions while proving not all Atlanta teams squander comfortable playoff leads.

There was reason to celebrate as the Braves ended the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night at Truist Park. Eddie Rosario added to his October legend with a monumental three-run homer and reliever Tyler Matzek perfected another escape act as Atlanta claimed this Game 6 victory and earned its World Series berth since 1999.

The Braves will play the Astros in the Fall Classic, with Game 1 of the best-of-seven series on Tuesday night at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.

After gaining a 3-1 series lead and losing Game 5 on Thursday, the Braves were forced to hear about the narrative of the Atlanta sports curse, which was strengthened when they won the three of the first four games of last year’s NLCS at Globe Life Field in Arlington and then lost the final three to the Dodgers.

History wouldn’t repeat itself as the Braves claimed a pair of walk-off wins to begin this year’s NLCS and then proved unfazed as they won two of three after squandering a three-run eighth-inning lead in Game 3 on Tuesday. This was the kind of resiliency they showed as they lost Ronald Acuña Jr., Marcell Ozuna and Mike Soroka during the season.

The Braves didn’t record a winning record until Aug. 6, but they needed just six games to beat a 106-win Dodgers team in the playoffs. Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley produced NL MVP credentials in the regular season, but this playoff push was created during July’s final two weeks, when Rosario, Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall were acquired to reconstruct the outfield.

Rosario spent most of his first month with the Braves recovering from an abdominal strain he had suffered in July. He showed some of his potential in September and then spent the past couple of weeks constructing one of the franchise’s more memorable postseasons.

As Rosario strolled to the plate during Saturday’s eighth inning, he was serenaded by chants of “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie.” Four innings earlier, he had electrified these same fans with a go-ahead three-run homer off Walker Buehler, who started on short rest because Max Scherzer’s sore right arm wasn’t ready for him to make his scheduled start.

As Rosario’s homer dropped over the outfield wall just inside the right-field foul pole, the crowd erupted and began anticipating how the night might end. This may have been the loudest Truist Park had been since Acuña hit a grand slam off Buehler in Game 3 of the 2018 NL Division Series.

Ian Anderson received early support from Austin Riley’s first-inning RBI double. The rookie right-hander kept the Dodgers scoreless through the first three innings and then surrendered Cody Bellinger’s two-out, beat-the-shift single in the fourth.

Anderson was lifted after four innings in favor of left-hander A.J. Minter, who recorded four strikeouts in two innings. Minter was impressive, but the pitching performance of the night belonged to Matzek, who also struck out four of the six hitters he faced over two scoreless innings.

Matzek entered with runners at second and third in the seventh. The dominant lefty killed that threat with three consecutive strikeouts of Albert Pujols, Steven Souza Jr. and Mookie Betts.

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