The Dodger bats exploded on Sunday night as the Dodgers chopped the Braves with a 13-6 drubbing to move to within one game of the NLCS and take a 2-1 series lead. Dodger fans from all across the country convened upon Dodger Stadium to root the Dodgers onto victory and celebrate all things Dodgers. That’s what tonight was, a three hour celebration of Dodger Blue.
The game was supposed to be a pitching duel between Atlanta rookie Julio Teheran, and Dodger’s lefty Hyun-jin Ryu. Neither starting pitcher lasted past the third inning, with Teheran pitching just 2.2 innings, and allowing six runs on eight hits. While Ryu pitched just three frames, and four earned runs on six hits, and whiffed just one.
That mattered not, as the Dodger offense came through Sunday night with flying colors. The Dodgers scored 13 runs on 14 hits, which tied a Dodger record for most runs scored in a postseason game. The game started out sketchy though, as Ryu gave up two runs in the top of the first.
But the Dodgers were in control all night long. In the bottom of the second, the Dodgers scored four times off of Teheran. Singles from Yasiel Puig, and Juan Uribe, and a walk to A.J. Ellis loaded the bases. Ryu’s sacrifice fly scored the first run, which Jason Heyward barely caught in right field. Then Carl Crawford, (the hero of the game in my opinion), smoked a three-run shot into the Atlanta bullpen to put the Dodgers ahead 4-2.
The Braves would come back and tie with two runs in the top of the third. Consecutive singles from J.Upton, Freddie Freeman, and Gattis loaded the bases. McCann’s force out was almost a double play, but somehow McCann beat the throw to first, which allowed J.Upton to score. A fielder’s choice dribbler to the mound allowed the second run to score, and the Braves tied it up This was Ryu’s last inning of work.
Then came the onslaught. The Dodgers scored two in the bottom of the third. Hanley Ramirez doubled, and Adrian Gonzalez singled him home, which made it a 5-4 Dodger lead. Skip Schumaker’s RBI single plated one more to give the Dodgers a 6-4 advantage.
The Dodgers scored four more runs in the bottom of the fourth. After an error from Alex Wood allowed Crawford to reach, Hanley’s triple down the line in left, easily scored Crawford. Puig singled in Hanley, and then a booming two-run home run from Uribe made it a 10-4 Dodger lead.
The Dodgers never looked back. The Dodgers knocked in three more runs, and despite a ninth inning two-run home run from Jason Heyward, the Dodgers won 13-6, to take a 2-1 series lead, and move to within one game of the NLCS.
There were many heroes on Sunday night. Carl Crawford had a great game, going 2 for 5 with three runs scored, and three runs driven in. Crawford’s home run was the turning point in the game, and set the tone for the rest of the night. he also made a great catch running into foul ground and falling into the box seats. And he didn’t even hurt himself on the play. Hanley went 3 for 4 with a double, triple, and two runs driven in. Hanley now has six extra-base hits in this series, which tied a record for most extra-base hits in a playoff series for a Dodger. Puig went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, and two RBI. Uribe had two hits, and drove in two as well.
Let’s also recognize the great performance from Chris Capuano who pitched three scoreless frames in relief of Ryu in long relief to pick up the well deserved win. Capuano whiffed three and did not allow a hit in his three frames of work. Stacie and I were there to witness it all and root our beloved Dodgers onto victory. Sorry if this recap is a bit abbreviated, but we were both at the game and it’s hard to recap a game from memory. The sellout crowd was electric, and I haven’t seen such an amazing atmosphere since the 2009 playoffs, Waive those rally towels!!!
Tomorrow night the Dodgers look to wrap up the series and advance to the NLCS. The scheduled starters for tomorrow are Freddy Garcia, and Ricky Nolasco. Something tells me the Braves are not going to start Garcia. There is also talk about the Dodgers starting Clayton Kershaw on short rest to try and wrap up the series. We don’t want to have to travel to Atlanta for a game five. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.
There was one casualty during the game. My binoculars were accidentally destroyed while I celebrated Crawford’s home run. I went nuts when he hit that shot. That three-run shot was the momentum changer, I thought. R.I.P. binoculars.
Tomorrow night the Dodgers go for the clincher at 6:30 PM on TBS. Don’t sleep on this!