The Dodgers left the Braves in the dust in Game 3, completely exploding offensively to secure their first win of the series. Meanwhile in the AL, the Astros fought to stay alive in a close matchup against the Rays.
Let’s take a look at what was another thrilling and record-breaking day of baseball.
NLCS Game 3
The Dodgers gave the Braves a scare on Tuesday putting up seven runs in the last three innings, and they came out swinging in Game 3 to prove their late inning rally was no fluke. The team set a record for runs scored in any postseason game with a historic 11-run first inning.
Leave it to OF Mookie Betts to be the spark that ignited the flame for this Dodgers offense. Betts reached first base on an infield-single that was originally ruled out but was overturned after review. SS Corey Seager followed, as he drove in Betts with an RBI double on the next pitch.
Braves SP Kyle Wright seemed like he might have found his handle on the inning after two groundouts, but the Dodgers had other ideas. C Will Smith ropped a RBI double, OF Cody Bellinger walked, and back-to-back homers from OF Joc Pederson and INF Edwin Ríos led to a much needed call to the bullpen to bring in LHP Grant Dayton for some major damage control.
But even Dayton was unable to stop the bleeding, as Seager drove in a run and he loaded up the bases for a whopping 435-foot grand slam from INF Max Muncy.
The trio of homers was the first time any team had hit that many home runs in the first inning of a postseason game.
The Braves looked like they were not ready to roll over that easily when SP Julio Urias walked the first two batters of the inning. He quickly turned it around by getting three quick outs to keep Atlanta off the board.
The Dodgers went on to score four additional runs over the next two innings, highlighted by Bellinger and Seager. Following the third, the Braves called on the young RHP Huascar Ynoa to stop the Dodger momentum.
The Braves coughed up a run in the bottom of the third with a home run from OF Cristian Pache, but then had a dry spell until they were down to their last three outs. Lucky for the Dodgers, they had more than enough runs, as Atlanta had what was a measly rally compared to the offensive domination by LA earlier in the game.
Muncy: 2-4, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R
Seager: 3-4, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R
Pederson: 4-6, HR, 3 RBI, 1 R
Urias: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Looking ahead to Game 4
Don’t expect either of these teams to go down without a fight, as both teams will be out for blood in game four Thursday night.
It will be interesting to see RHP Bryse Wilson on the mound for the Braves for game four after only making two starts during the regular season. Game four may bring more bullpen trouble for Atlanta after they were forced to burn a lot of their arms in the contest, but ultimately, they will need to make things happen offensively if they want to stand a chance.
Dodgers fans will be happy to hear that SP Clayton Kershaw may get the ball on Thursday to try and take his team one step closer to the World Series. The veteran ace was scratched in Game 2 when his back was acting up, but has reportedly since improved.
ALCS Game 4
The Astros were standing on their last leg coming into Game 4 after being down 3-0 in the series. 2B José Altuve remained hot for Houston with a solo shot in the first and an RBI double in the third.
Altuve continues to be the leading man for the offensively struggling Astros. He is known to strike early, as seven of his 18 postseason home runs occured in the first inning, which is the most by any hitter in postseason history.
The Rays stung back in the top of the fourth, as OF Randy Azorena hit a two-run blast to tie the game at two. OF George Springer responded in the fifth with his own two-run shot off Ray’s SP Tyler Glasnow, giving the lead back to Houston.
Over the next four innings, only zeros were added to the scoreboard, but neither team could get comfortable until the last out was made. This proved true when the Astros almost blew their win in the last inning.
Down to their last three outs, 1B Ji-Man Choi led off the inning with a walk. Choi was succeeded by a strikeout from 2B Brandon Lowe and fielder’s choice by 3B Joey Wendle, putting him on first base for Willy Adames. Wendle scored on an Adames double, cutting the deficit to just one run.
RHP Ryan Pressley threw a wild pitch, which Adames took advantege of as he advanced to third to represent the tying run. After a brief mound visit to regain composure, Pressley put away OF Yoshitomo Tsutsugo as he lined out to OF George Springer.
The Astros barely lived to see another day of postseason play and will be back to try to pull off another win tomorrow.
Springer: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
Altuve: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 1 R
RHP Zack Greinke: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Looking ahead to Game 5
The Astros still need to get their offense together if they want to stand a chance against the Rays. Tampa Bay has remained consistent throughout the entire season and were still able to put up seven hits in the loss.
Burning Greinke’s start in Game 4, the Rays should have no trouble scoring against Houston’s bullpen. It will really come down to a battle between batters, as the Rays will seek the win to send them to the World Series.
I am a part of the writing and marketing team at The Bullpen. I am excited to be a part of a team that is just as passionate about the game of baseball as I am. Currently, I am a senior studying broadcast journalism at Biola University. Growing up as an athlete, I am thrilled to have continued my career competing in softball in college at the NCAA DII level. Seeing the positive impact that sports has made in my own life, I desire to share the stories of other athletes. I have experience doing this as a freelance sports writer for my university's newspaper, The Chimes. I am also an experienced reporter with demonstrated history working in the broadcast media industry. Having served as the anchor and executive producer for my university's television news station and as a production assistant intern with LA Channel 36, I have developed skills in growing my on-air presence and behind-the-scenes work. I plan on continuing my career as a local news reporter or sports broadcaster.