Four teams went head-to-head in games two and three of the NLCS and ALCS, respectively. The Braves took on the Dodgers, who were looking for a victory after a series opening loss on Monday night. Out west, the Astros attempted to keep themselves afloat against the Rays.
Here’s how it all went down:
NLCS Game 2
The second matchup between the Braves and the Dodgers started out fairly underwhelming, with both teams seeing little offensive action for the first two and a half innings.
It got exciting for the Dodgers in the third inning, with 3B Justin Turner getting the first hit of the game and contributing to a bases loaded situation. However, the Dodgers were unable to bring their runners home, and Atlanta narrowly avoided a potential early deficit.
The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning, when Braves 1B Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer. This comes after his previous night’s bomb against the boys in blue.
The fifth inning yielded the addition of four runs for the Braves, bringing the score to 6-0 and adding to a grand total of 10 runs for Atlanta in the previous six NL Championship Series innings. OF Cristian Pache lined one down the left field line, bringing home RF Nick Markakis. Pache scored on a RBI single by Freeman, followed by a walk to C Travis d’Arnaud and a sacrifice fly by 2B Ozzie Albies to put the Dodgers down six.
Braves SS Dansby Swanson hit a long one to right field in the seventh, adding another run to Atlanta’s side of the scoreboard with an RBI double.
LA’s offense seemed to wake up in the bottom of the seventh. SS Corey Seager put the Dodgers on the board with a three-run bomb, shrinking the run differential to just four. This was Seager’s second postseason home run.
The Braves answered back in the ninth, with Albies playing longball and knocking a solo homer over the centerfield wall.
However, the Dodgers refused to go down without a fight. Seager drove home a run with a RBI double in the bottom of the ninth. IF Max Muncy followed this up with a two-run homer, bringing home both himself and Seager to make the score 8-6.
Then came a RBI triple from OF Cody Bellinger and suddenly, it was a one run ballgame.
Despite their late-game excitement, the Dodgers fell to the Braves 8-7. Atlanta’s narrow win put them up 2-0 in the NLCS.
Freeman: 2-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R
Albies: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
RHP Tony Gonsolin (L): 4.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K
Seager: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, BB
What To Look For Wednesday
The Dodgers need to come into Wednesday’s game with a strong offense and should look to score early onto avoid putting themselves in another catch up situation. Expect them to come into Game 3 with guns blazing after making an impressive comeback in the previous night’s matchup, but failing to come away with a win.
The Braves have dominated this series, but can’t get a big head. Atlanta needs to treat Game 3 like Game 1 and go into it as if it’s 0-0. They also need to maintain their lead and not get sloppy in the later innings. Expect another solid run production.
ALCS Game 3
The Astros started Game 3 off hot, with 2B José Altuve knocking a high ball over the left field wall for his 17th career postseason home run.
Houston almost had another, but an impressive catch by Rays CF Kevin Kiermaier ended the inning and prevented additional runs from being scored.
The second inning generated some excitement on Tampa’s end with the bases loaded. However, it was an opportunity wasted, as The Rays were unable to take advantage of any scoring opportunities.
The score remained at 1-0 until the sixth inning, when the Rays began to turn their at-bats into something tangible. A RBI single by INF Joey Wendle brought home two, giving Tampa their first lead of the night at 2-1. A bases loaded walk to IF Willy Adames allowed another runner to reach home, and the Rays were up by two.
Tampa Bay didn’t stop there. In a game of redemption for their inability to turn a previously bases loaded situation into runs early in the second, OF Hunter Renfroe’s double saved the day, scoring Wendel and Kiermaier.
The Astros answered back in the bottom of the sixth with a homerun from LF Michael Brantley, bringing the score to 5-2.
Despite their best efforts, the Astros were unable to come back from this three-run deficit. Three appeared to be the magic number of the night. The Rays took Game 3 of the ALCS, bringing themselves one step closer to the World Series.
Renfroe: 1-2, 2 RBI
Joey Wendle: 2-4, 2 RBI, R
Altuve: 2-4, HR, RBI, R, BB
What To Look For Wednesday:
The Astros are down three games and need their offense to come out strong if they plan on making it to the World Series. Additionally, Altuve needs to clean it up defensively. Throwing errors in each game on Monday and Tuesday worked against Houston, so look for cleaner throws from the second baseman in Game 4.
Expect to see the Rays continuing to bring home runners. Tampa’s comeback game has been strong this series, and they know how to take advantage of runners on base. They’ve been consistent with a solid offensive production, so we can anticipate this to continue into Game 4.
I am a senior at San Diego State University majoring in journalism with an emphasis in media studies. I was born and raised in San Diego, California and have a deep love for iced coffee, the beach and Taco Stand. I work for both the marketing and writing departments of The Bullpen, an up-and-coming baseball blog. Additionally, I am a staff writer and reporter for the sports section of The Daily Aztec, SDSU's student newspaper. I have a passion for sports and storytelling, and aspire to be a sidelines reporter for the MLB or a courtside reporter for the NBA.