Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
After falling behind 3-1, the Los Angeles Dodgers faced their first true test of adversity this year and responded by stringing together three consecutive wins against the Atlanta Braves to complete an epic National League Championship Series comeback.
Perhaps fittingly, the Dodgers had to claw their way out of another early deficit in the winner-take-all Game 7. Trailing 2-0 in the third, Will Smith evened up the score with a clutch two-out, two-run single.
The Braves would retake the lead in the fourth inning and nearly expanded on that when Freddie Freeman drove a long fly ball to right field. Mookie Betts had other plans, however, leaping at the wall and robbing the four-time All-Star of a home run.
It was another momentum shifter that allowed L.A. to stay within striking distance. They went on to tie the game in the sixth, courtesy of Kiké Hernandez’s solo shot, and later took the lead in the seventh following Cody Bellinger’s blast into the right-field seats.
After the game, Freeman praised the Dodgers for overcoming everything the Braves threw at them, via Mark Bowman of MLB.com:
“We heard it all year that the Dodgers were the best team in baseball,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “We took them to Game 7, and we gave them a little heart murmur in this series. We gave them all they could handle. They just made all the right plays at the right time.”
Ian Anderson, who was chased from his Game 7 start after three innings of work, also credited the Dodgers for earning a hard-fought victory, which Freeman further echoed:
“At the end of the day, they put tough at-bats up there and they really earned it,” Anderson said. “I don’t think we really handed it to them by any means. That’s what makes it tough for everyone in that locker room.”
“There’s a lot of things that could have gone the other way, but the Dodgers made plays,” said Freeman, who saw Mookie Betts rob him of a home run in the fifth.
While the Braves fell just short of reaching the World Series for the first time since 1999, they can take solace in the fact that they gave the Dodgers their toughest battle all year.
As for L.A., their Game 7 win means they are heading back to the Fall Classic for the third time in the last four seasons. Awaiting them are the Tampa Bay Rays, who were the only other team in baseball to win at least 40 games during the regular season.
Rays vs. Dodgers World Series schedule
Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m. PT, Fox
Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 21, 5 p.m., Fox
Game 3: Friday, Oct. 23, 5 p.m., Fox
Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 24, 5 p.m., Fox
Game 5*: Sunday, Oct. 25, 5 p.m., Fox
Game 6*: Tuesday, Oct. 27, 5 p.m., Fox
Game 7*: Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5 p.m., Fox
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