“We did what we had to do to force a match 7”, Justin Turner he told me.
They did it.
Seager hit the home run again, Buehler pitched six scoreless innings and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday to send the NL Championship Series to a win-win final.
Los Angeles avoided elimination for the second time in less than 24 hours, remaining alive in their quest for a third pennant in four years. He hasn’t won a championship since 1988.
“I’m still recovering from this one, but I’m already thinking about Game 7,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That’s what you live for.”
Turner also did a home run for Los Angeles and Jansen threw a ninth of six shots for his 18th career post-season save.
The NL West and East champions play again on Sunday night, with the potential for two debutants in Game 7 for the first time in Big League history. The winner takes the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series.
Roberts was keeping his options open for his starting pitcher as the Braves planned to leave with the rookie right-hander Ian Anderson, who pitched 15 2/3 scoreless innings in his three postseason starts. Tony Gonsolin and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw are among the possibilities for Los Angeles.
“Shoot, we’ll go over there and let it fly.” Game 7 is another game of baseball, ”said Atlanta manager Brian Snitker. “You have to treat it as such.”
The Braves had hoped to celebrate Snitker’s 65th birthday on Saturday with the franchise’s first place at the World Series since 1999. But Max Frit took his first loss all year, working in the seventh inning after giving up three points in a tough first.
Buehler, using Stan’s rodeo ointment to treat bothersome blisters, threw 65 of his 89 strikes. He allowed seven hits while hitting six without walking.
After Atlanta loaded the basics with three straight singles to start the start of the second – the last move from roommate Vanderbilt Dansby Swanson – the right-hander really brought the heat, with 10 consecutive fast balls to get out of the jam.
Austin Riley scratched on a ground of 98.7 mph before Nick Markakis took a third called strike on 99.7 mph. Cristian Pache, the 21-year-old rookie who had an RBI in each of his first four NLCS starts, was called out on a late-inning pitch.
“His mound presence is just amazing,” Turner said.
Buehler said he never felt that calm in a game, especially a situation like this. He credited the receiver Austin Barnes – and past experiences.
“I failed in those moments. I went through it and was good after that, but this failure doesn’t really scare me anymore, ”said Buehler. “The more you go through things like this, the more your heart rate changes and can slow down.”
It was a very different result from that of Buehler’s postseason debut two years ago in Game 3 of the NL Division Series, when the Braves also loaded the bases against him in the second inning. After walking into a race, Ronald Acuña Jr. hit a grand slam on the next pitch.
Fried, who struck out five goals and walked four in 6 2/3 innings, allowed just two homers in his 11 starts while going 7-0 in the regular season. But the Dodgers went deep twice in three shots in the first.
Seager fired an imposing shot to the right on a 73 mph curve ball, and Turner hooked up on a 93 mph pellet that went 418 feet to center immediately. Max Muncy walked and scored after consecutive singles by Will Smith and Cody Bellinger it made 3-0.
“I came out in a game like this and kind of got us behind all eight balls very quickly. Fried said. “For me, this is unacceptable.”
Seager, who had two homers in Game 5 on Friday night, has NLCS records with five homers and 11 RBIs, and one more game to go. His six home runs are already a post-season record for the Dodgers.
Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP and first-year Dodger, had a nice catch against the right wall of the field to finish fifth. While it wouldn’t have been a circuit, it flew Marcell Ozuna additional bases, and the Braves a probable run.
Betts let out an emphatic cry while pumping both fists, then celebrated with Bellinger as Buehler held his right arm up in the air.
With Buehler out of the game, Nick Markakis greeted Blake Trains with a triple to the right leading to the seventh and came home on a double with a strikeout from Ronald Acuña Jr.
But the Dodgers’ pickup pen closed it from there, Jansen ending the win in an encouraging performance heading into Game 7.
It was Jansen’s first stopping chance in five appearances since closing the Dodgers’ first playoff win this season in the wildcard round. He hit the side on 12 shots in Friday night’s 7-3 win.
“Two huge outings, not only for us but for him personally, you can just see the confidence he has on the mound attacking guys,” Turner said. ” It’s the Kenley Jansen Me and all of us in there know and love.
Ozzie Albies hit a slow helicopter on the first baseline in the sixth Braves which was lined up by Muncy, who then tagged before the ball came out. Albies thought he was missing and never touched the first goal. Muncy threw the ball at Buehler, who tagged the runner who was already returning to the Atlanta dugout.
The Dodgers are playing in Game 7 for the third time in four years. They won 5-1 at Milwaukee in the deciding 2018 NLCS game, after losing 5-1 at home to the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Atlanta has not played a Game 7 since his 15-0 victory over Saint-Louis in the 1996 NLCS.
All 14 Los Angeles homers are tied for most in an NLCS, and two behind the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays for most in any LCS. … Only once before have the Dodgers won three consecutive potential elimination games to win a series. It was in the best of five NL Division Series in 1981. They won the World Series that year.
Braves: Anderson needed 85 shots to pass four innings in Game 2, when he allowed just one hit with five strikeouts. But he walked five batters in a game that Atlanta held to win 8-7.
Dodgers: Gonsolin’s postseason debut from Game 2 came after Kershaw was scratched with back spasms. Gonsolin struck out seven but allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings. Kershaw kicked off the fourth game on Thursday.
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