By Cynthia Solis
The Los Angeles Dodgers finally put on their game faces in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series, winning their first game thus far.
Each game, thus far, had its good and bad parts; every Dodger fan needs to have complete and utter faith in their boys in blue to win the NLDS and make it to the World Series.
I am not the biggest Dodger fan, but I hope they will work together to advance to the next level. Seeing how they played against the Giants, any viewer could see how hard the Dodgers fought to win the NLCS, so I hope they have that same hunger for victory against the Braves and can advance to the World Series.
In the first game, the Dodgers started strong. Corey Seager opened the game up for the Dodgers by hitting a double in the first inning. Hitting a double is quite the achievement since most batters typically only make it to first base. Seeing that Seager was able to do it when Max Fried, pitcher for the Braves, was arguably at his strongest shows how strategic Seager can be.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers’ luck seemingly ended there when Corey Knebel, pitcher for the Dodgers, threw a wild pitch, which enabled Eddie Rosario to advance to home plate, gaining a point for the Braves.
The game ended when Austen Riley hit an RBI single enabling Ozzie Albies to advance to home plate and take the first victory for the Braves.
Even though the Dodgers lost, there was a noticeable improvement in their batting since they played the Giants in the NLCS. That being said, the Dodgers clearly sacrificed their defense by trying to ensure their readiness against the strong opposing pitchers, which hurt them in the end.
In Game 2, Corey Seager was the Dodger’s bright light in the first inning by hitting a home run. Things seemingly looked up for the Dodgers up until the bottom of the fourth inning when Joc Pederson hit a two-run home run tying up the game.
The Dodger’s luck got worse in the bottom of the ninth inning when Rosario hit a hard ground ball, and Corey Seager missed it. The viewer was able to see the ball skip off of his glove and roll into the outfield while Dansby Swanson got the winning point for the Braves. Although a phenomenal batter, Seager needs to be on his A-game when he is in the outfield. The fact that he was so close to catching the ball that the ball could touch the glove, yet he still managed to be far enough where he couldn’t catch it, shows that he has spent too much time batting and not enough time on his defense.
The Dodgers and their fans indeed began to tremble as the Braves held a 2-0 series lead leaving their World Series aspirations in jeopardy.
Having the home advantage helped the Dodgers in game 3. Corey Seager, once again, hit a two-run home run in the first inning. This makes 13 homers, officially tying him up with Justin Turner for the most postseason home runs in Dodger franchise history. While a great accomplishment, this isn’t that surprising since Seager has always been a great batter and constantly improves with each game. Although there is a lot of controversy about who will potentially win the MVP award, Seager should be considered for the award after gaining such a prestigious honor.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Braves had bases loaded, and Walker Buehler, a pitcher for the Dodgers, walked Charlie Morton, allowing the Braves to take a two-point lead and forcing Coach Roberts to make a pitcher change.
It is saddening to see such a great pitcher like Walker Buehler allow his nerves to get in the way and make such a big mistake at a time like this. I speak for every Dodger fan when I say that it was a good move for Coach Roberts to take him out of the game actually to give the Dodgers a shot at winning.
In the eighth inning, Cody Bellinger, batter for the Dodgers, hit a three-run home run tying up the game. After this, the Braves noticeably began to play more poorly, no doubt, because they believed that they had another win in the bag since it was so late in the game.
The Dodgers continued to fight tooth and nail until the last inning to ensure they won game 3. Mookie Betts was able to hit an RBI double, gaining a one-point lead against the Braves. Their luck did not stop there. Kenley Jansen struck out the side, referring to his phenomenal ability to strike out all of the batters he faced in the defensive half-inning. As a result, the Dodgers won because Jansen struck out the three players for the Braves.
Jansen definitely redeemed himself in my book since there have been many times during the regular season that he has lost multiple games for the Dodgers. The worse one was when he was booed off the mound in his stadium because he allowed the Giants to gain four runs, allowing them to win, when his sole purpose being put in the game was to show his face essentially.
Although it is early to tell, I think the Dodgers will win the NLCS, advancing to the World Series because, in the 2020 NLCS against the Braves, the Dodgers were also down in the beginning and completed the comeback with a 4-3 series win.
The Dodgers need to improve their lineup if they hope to have a chance to win the series. Including top batters like Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner will strengthen their chances significantly against the Braves.