Tuesday offered a full slate of MLB postseason games starting in the early evening hours in the Eastern time zone. The Atlanta franchise and Los Angeles Dodgers got the action started with Game 3 of the NLCS from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The Boston Red Sox hosted the Houston Astros for the nightcap in Game 4 of the ALCS.
Atlanta leads series 2-1
The Dodgers fell into an early 2-0 deficit in the series and also were behind by a score of 5-2 as late as the 5th inning of this game. Will Smith started a four-run rally in the 8th inning with a leadoff single, and Cody Bellinger tied the game with a home run.
Mookie Betts drove in the go-ahead tally with a RBI double.
Jansen struck out the side in the 9th to record the save and give Los Angeles their first victory of the series. This was also the Dodgers’ first postseason victory when trailing by three or more runs in the 8th inning.
The Dodgers entered the day 0-81 when trailing by 3+ runs in the 8th inning or later in their postseason history. pic.twitter.com/pL0Y03C00Z
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 20, 2021
2015 MVP Josh Donaldson, who spent the 2019 season with Atlanta, shared a number of spicy comments on Twitter throughout the course of this game.
Dodgers war of thinking: opener game 1. Game 3 start a second baseman in center. You have the highest payroll in the game. You don’t have a game 1 starter and an actual center fielder. Wait you do but you would rather not. Wtf
— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) October 19, 2021
Look for this and other Donaldson posts to be deleted later, as it’s rare for active MLB players to show this level of candor.
This comeback could be a momentum-changing win for the Dodgers, who will play two more games on their home field. They look to tie the series on Wednesday at 8:08 PM ET. Julio Urías (regular season – 20-3, 2.96 ERA) will take the ball for Los Angeles, while the Atlanta starter is TBD.
Series tied 2-2
This game promised to be a low-scoring affair until the final frame. Astros pitching finally quieted the Red Sox bats after Xander Bogaerts‘s two-run homer to the top of the Green Monster in the 1st inning.
The visitors trailed by one run until the 8th inning, when José Altuve went yard.
In the top of the 9th, Houston took the lead against Eovaldi, who appeared in relief. With two outs and two on, Jason Castro lined a single into center field to plate the go-ahead run.
After Altuve walked to load the bases, Michael Brantley cleared them with a double into right field.
I am not sure what motivated the decision to bring Eovaldi in as a reliever, given that this was not an elimination game. This move has allowed a reeling Houston team back into the series.
The “ump show” also continues to mar this postseason after the controversial check swing call which ended Game 5 of the Division Series between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Home-plate umpire Laz Diaz has missed 21 ball-strike calls tonight, according to @ESPNStatsInfo. That is the most of any umpire this postseason. The green dot in the upper RH corner is the Eovaldi curveball that would've ended top of the ninth with the score 2-2.
It is now 9-2. pic.twitter.com/VzdyL4lth3
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 20, 2021
The ALCS continues Wednesday evening at 5:08 PM ET. The pitching matchup is TBD.