LCS Round Day 3: Another Atlanta Walkoff
Sunday was Day 3 of League Championship Series action. The Atlanta franchise played host to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 2 of the NLCS after taking Game 1 with a 9th inning walkoff. Atlanta delivered another thrilling walkoff victory in Game 2 after falling behind in the 1st inning.
Atlanta leads series 2-0
W: Will Smith
L: Brusdar Graterol
Max Scherzer started for LA after recording the first save of his MLB career in Game 5 of the Division Series against San Francisco. He allowed two runs on four hits in 4.1 innings, striking out seven Atlanta hitters.
The Dodgers opened the scoring on Corey Seager‘s two-run homer to right field in the first frame.
Joctober celebrations continued after Joc Pederson tied the game with a two-run bomb of his own in the 4th inning off of a Scherzer curveball.
Chris Taylor broke the tie in the 7th inning, driving in two runs on a bases-loaded double that dropped just in front of Guillermo Heredia, rolling into center field. Pederson charged in from right field to back up the play, saving further damage.
Atlanta brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the inning after Travis d’Arnaud led off with a walk, but failed to take advantage. Dansby Swanson grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, and Guillermo Heredia grounded out to retire the side.
Eddie Rosario singled to lead off the 8th inning against MLB victories leader Julio Urías and advanced to second base on Freddie Freeman‘s flyout to left. Ozzie Albies drove an Urías curveball into right field, scoring Rosario on an aggressive send by Atlanta third base coach Ron Washington.
Game 2 hero Austin Riley doubled into center field to tie the game.
With the go-ahead run in scoring position, Urías struck out Pederson and Ehire Adrianza to end the threat.
The 9th inning delivered the eagerly anticipated Battle of Will Smiths. Atlanta closer Will Smith struck out LA catcher Will Smith for the second out of a scoreless inning.
In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers opted to start off with flamethrower Graterol on the mound. d’Arnaud led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Cristian Pache, who was tagged out at 2nd on Swanson’s bunt attempt. Swanson reached safely and advanced to second on Heredia’s groundout to third base. Kenley Jansen entered the game to face Rosario and record the third out.
Rosario smashed a ground ball up the middle past Jansen which deflected off the glove of second baseman Trea Turner into center field. Swanson scored on the single, delivering the winning run for the home team.
Monday will be a travel day as the teams head to Los Angeles for three games, if necessary. Game 3 will start at 5:08 PM ET on Tuesday. Charlie Morton (regular season – 14-6, 3.34 ERA) will face Walker Buehler (regular season – 16-4, 2.47 ERA).
ALCS action resumes on Monday with Game 3 between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox from Fenway Park at 8:08 PM ET. José Urquidy (regular season – 8-3, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to match up against Eduardo Rodríguez (regular season – 13-8, 4.74 ERA).
Featured Image: Atlanta, Georgia/United States: June 22, 2018 – Empty dugout at SunTrust Park, now known as Truist Park, in Atlanta, Georgia, home of the Atlanta Braves by Amy Roswurm / Shutterstock.com.