Thanks to Eddie Rosario’s red-hot bat, the Braves are one win away from reaching the World Series for the first time in the last century. All they need is one more win over the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
It is said easy. The difficult thing is to do it. After all, the Braves were in exactly the same situation last year and were never able to get the job done.
Rosario had two home runs and six pitchers combined in a four-hit job as the Atlanta Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 on Wednesday night and moved within a Fall Classic win.
The Puerto Rican had four hits per second game during this National League Championship Series, in which Atlanta now has a 3-1 advantage.
This Thursday the fifth game will take place, also at Dodger Stadium. The Braves have not been crowned in the National for 22 years (1999), and they could achieve it by eliminating the current champions of the Fall Classic.
“As we saw last year, it’s tough to win a game, especially against an experienced team like this,” said Braves manager Brian Snitker. “But I feel good for our club, just for what we experienced last year and where these guys are.”
Last year, the Dodgers trailed the Braves 2-0, 3-1 in the Championship Series, but came back with three straight wins and took the pennant in Arlington, Texas, a neutral venue amid the pandemic.
To repeat the feat, they will have to wake up with the log. The top five in the order – Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Nationwide batting champion Trea Turner, Will Smith and Gavin Lux – went 17-0 combined.
But the Dodgers, who had 18 wins in 19 home games since the final stretch of the regular season, have won six straight games in which they risk being eliminated, a streak that dates back to last year.
“I feel good about this,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We have a very tough and tough team. And we are not going to face a tougher situation than meeting Max Fried in an elimination duel. But we have done it before ”.
Rosario became the first player to have two four-hitter games during a Championship Series, either the National or the AL. He drove in four runs and continued to shine at bat this postseason.
“I feel like everyone is working and is very focused,” Rosario said. “I am very proud to be part of this team.”
He was a double of the cycle. He hit a home run in the second inning, a triple in the third, a single in the fifth and a three-run homer in the ninth.
The left fielder has hit a hit in each game of these playoffs, to accumulate 14 hits. He has struck out only once.
All four home runs for the Braves tied a franchise postseason record.
Each of the series’ first three duels was decided by a race in the last two chapters.
This time, the Dodgers couldn’t work magic in the end.
Jesse Chavez, the Atlanta starter, teamed up with Drew Smyly, Chris Martin, AJ Minter, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith to tie up local hitters. Los Angeles didn’t hit a hit until the fifth act, and was limited to one for the remainder of the game.
The Braves wasted no time hurting Mexican Julio Urías, who had won 20 games in the regular season and this time allowed three home runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
It was the second time Urías has allowed that many home runs in his career. The second was in his second game in the majors, in 2016. (AP)