The Dodgers are World Series Bound

Dodgers Complete 3-1 NLCS Comeback, Advance to their Third World Series in Four Years

The 2020 Dodgers become only the fourteenth team in MLB history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to advance to the World Series. The Dodgers will face off against Rays starter Tyler Glasnow in Game 1 and starter Blake Snell in Game 2 of the World Series.

Mimi Castellanos/EPM

The 2020 Dodgers become only the fourteenth team in MLB history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to advance to the World Series. The Dodgers will face off against Rays starter Tyler Glasnow in Game 1 and starter Blake Snell in Game 2 of the World Series.

The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their third National League Pennant in the last four years, defeating the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series by a final score of 4-3 last Sunday. The win completed the Dodgers comeback from a 3-1 series deficit from Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field.

Huge Game 5 and 6 Wins Lead to Winner Take All Game

The Dodgers got a huge 7-3 Game 5 victory and 3-1 Game 6 victory, which propelled them to Game 7. Dodgers catcher Will Smith’s three-run home run in the sixth inning against his homonymous opponent/Braves reliever Will Smith gave the Dodgers the lead in Game 5, putting them ahead for good. Then, Game 6 saw the Dodgers plate three in the first, backed by six strong innings from Walker Buehler to help the team advance to Game 7. 

Game 7 Rookie Showdown

As for the series-deciding Game 7, the ball would go to Dodgers’ rookie Dustin May. With Braves’ rookie Ian Anderson set to take the mound, the matchup against May created the first-ever winner take all Game 7 matchup with two rookies starting for both teams.

May would only pitch about an inning or two though with the game plan the Dodgers had for Game 7.

Braves Cap Off Early Lead, Led by Swanson & Ozuna

The game plan stuck, but that came at the expense of May giving up the first run of the night in the top of the first. After back to back walks to Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman, the Braves’ Marcell Ozuna drove in the first run of the ball game with an RBI single. 

The Braves cashed in again in the top of the second, thanks to newly entered Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin. Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson greeted Gonsolin with a leadoff home run, putting the Braves up 2-0. 

Smith Comes Through Again

It wasn’t until the bottom of the third that the Dodgers plated in their first runs of the ballgame. Will Smith, after a pivotal go-ahead home run in Game 5, brought the Dodgers right back into the game. With runners on second and third, Smith hit right through the shift and lined a grounder into right-center field, plating in Justin Turner and Max Muncy to tie the ball game at two. 

Game-Changing Defense Keeps Dodgers in Striking Distance

But the game did not stay tied for long, as Atlanta’s Austin Riley drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth with a single, scoring Ozzie Albies. Riley, even after capitalizing with a go-ahead hit, subsequently made a crucial baserunning error on the following play. With runners at second and third and no outs, Braves’ veteran outfielder Nick Markakis grounded a ball to Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner. Turner then threw to home and proceeded to tag out Dansby Swanson on a run down. As Turner tagged out Swanson, he proceeded to throw out Riley at third for a crucial double play. 

Afterward, another game-changing defensive gem came in the top of the fifth, one by a new familiar Dodger: Mookie Betts. It was thanks to Betts’ defensive plays in Games 5 and 6 that the Dodgers stayed afloat in the series. It was more of the same in Game 7. Betts robbed what would have been a solo home run from Braves veteran and perennial NL MVP Freddie Freeman.

Betts’ (#50) catch was a pivotal part in the Dodgers victory. Without the catch, the Braves would have gone up 4-2 in the 5th inning. (Mimi Castellanos/EPM)

Hernandez Ties Ballgame

Both bullpens kept things in check until the bottom half of the sixth. In the sixth, Kiké Hernandez would pinch-hit for Joc Pederson at DH to start the Dodgers’ half of the inning against Braves lefty reliever A.J Minter. Hernandez batted seven pitches into the at-bat, fouling everything in sight. The eighth pitch proved the charm, as Hernandez deposited a game-tying home run deep into the Texas night.

Belli For the Lead

It was not until the seventh inning that things changed with Cody Bellinger at the plate. Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP, had his fair share of big moments throughout the series, but none bigger than this one. After a seven-pitch battle against Braves reliever Chris Martin, Bellinger launched a go-ahead solo home run on the eighth pitch of the at-bat. The go-ahead home run would ultimately give the Dodgers the lead for good. 

After the go-ahead home run, all eyes were on the Dodgers’ Julio Urias. Urias pitched the final three innings of the ballgame, getting the final out of the ballgame on a Riley fly out to Cody Bellinger.  

With the victory, Julio Urias (#7) became the first Mexican-born pitcher in MLB history to win six postseason games.
(Enrique Medina/EPM)

After the final out, the Dodgers celebrated the victory with raw emotion. All the players and staff hugged each other right near the pitcher’s mound. 

Post Game Celebration, Seager Wins NLCS MVP

After the game, the Dodgers were presented with the Warren C. Giles National League Championship trophy. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager won NLCS series MVP. Seager hit five home runs and drove in 11 runs in the series, both NLCS records. His pivotal home runs in game 5 gave the Dodgers a much needed boost, and his first inning home run off of Max Fried jump-started a three-run first inning in Game 6.

“Defensively, pitching, game-calling, planning, everything. We grinded all the way through this series,” Seager said after the game. 

An emotional Dave Roberts, Dodgers manager, also said, “Our fans have stuck together, these guys [the organization] has stuck together, we have more work to do, but for the Dodgers fans… we’re thinking about you. And this year is our year, this is our year!” 

Who Awaits the Dodgers in the 2020 Fall Classic?

The Dodgers comeback series victory sets up a date with the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. Games 1 and 2 are set for Tuesday and Wednesday night, respectively. Game 1 will take place at 5:09 PT, and Game 2 is set for 5:08 PT. All games will be televised on Fox.