Freddie Freeman, Braves Take 2-0 NLCS Lead With 8-7 Win Over Dodgers In Game 2

Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ian Anderson still hasn’t given up a run in this postseason, Freddie Freeman can’t stop knocking them in and suddenly the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in a major hole after an epic comeback attempt fell just short.

The Atlanta Braves took a commanding 2-0 lead in the National League Championship Series on Tuesday night after beating the Dodgers 8-7. Anderson pitched four scoreless innings, Atlanta’s bullpen held on for dear life after watching the Dodgers nearly claw back from a 7-0 deficit and Freeman’s three RBI paced the offense.

That included a two-run dinger in the top of the fourth:

The Braves blew the game wide open in the fifth, pushing across four runs.

L.A. showed some life in the seventh inning, with Corey Seager blasting a three-run homer. He added an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to go along with Max Muncy’s two-run shot and Cody Bellinger’s RBI double. The four-run inning got the Dodgers within one run with the tying run at the dish.

But A.J. Pollock couldn’t deliver, grounding out to third, and the Dodgers comeback attempt was too little, too late.

The Dodgers are arguably the most talented team in baseball, at least on paper, so this series is far from over. But the Braves have them on the ropes.

Key Stats

Ian Anderson, ATL: Four innings, one hit, no runs, five walks, five strikeouts

Freddie Freeman, ATL: 2-for-4, one homer, three RBI, two runs

Ozzie Albies, ATL: 3-for-4, one homer, two RBI, one run

Tony Gonsolin, LAD: 4.1 innings, three hits, five runs, three walks, seven strikeouts

Corey Seager, LAD: 2-for-4, one homer, four RBI

Mookie Betts, LAD: 1-for-3, one run, two walks

Freddie Freeman Is Cooking

It isn’t a surprise that Freeman has been awesome in this series after he hit .341 with 13 homers and 53 RBI in the regular season, putting himself firmly in the MVP conversation. But he didn’t exactly light the first two rounds on fire, coming into tonight hitting .179 for the playoffs.

He’s now 3-for-8 in this series, however, with two homers, four RBI, three runs scored and a walk. After registering just one hit in his first four postseason games, he now has five in the past three.

Freeman even did it on the field at first base:

In other words, when Atlanta has needed him most, he’s delivered. Getting the MVP candidate back on track has made Atlanta that much more dangerous.

Is The “Ghost Of Postseasons Failures” Haunting the Dodgers Yet Again?

The Dodgers have reached the postseason eight straight times and 12 times in total since 2004. They’ve finished with the best record in baseball twice in the past four years. They’ve reached the World Series twice since 2017. And no, they haven’t won a title since… 1988.

This series isn’t over. But falling into a 2-0 hole against a pitching staff that has mostly been annihilating hitters this postseason—at least before the late innings in Game 2—has to have Dodgers fans questioning whether this team is cursed:

Or maybe it’s that the bullpen let them down in Game 1 and Gonsolin let them down in Game 2. Maybe the bats woke up a bit too late Tuesday. Maybe Atlanta is just firing on all cylinders at the moment.

Still, the Dodgers have too much talent to go down like this. They showed life at the end of Game 2, even if it wasn’t enough. The Dodgers have to exorcise their demons, and soon.

What’s Next?

Wednesday’s Game 3 is set to begin at 6:05 p.m. ET on FS1. Atlanta’s Kyle Wright is scheduled to face Julio Urias.

Around Third

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October 13, 2020 at 09:37PM

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