ATLANTA – In some circles, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves were always on a National League Championship Series collision course. Because the Braves were trying to avenge a devastating collapse in last year’s NLCS, the storyline was natural.

One game separated the Braves from reaching the World Series. A miracle was needed by the Dodgers to confirm a large payroll and a flux of talent on their roster.

Finally, the Dodgers were victorious. Dodgers overcome a 3-1 series deficit to win the seventh World Series.

Now, fast forward to the present year. There was still much work ahead. The Braves and Dodgers opened the next chapter of their rival postseason rivalry on Saturday night. As the Braves secured homefield, Truist Park was the preferred venue.

In front of raucous crowd, the Braves pulled out a 3-2 victory in Game 1 of the series.

The Braves managed to put together some timely hitting against the Dodgers’ pitchers. In the ninth inning, Austin Riley brought home Ozzie Albies’ RBI single with a walk-off. 

The Braves would manufacture offense with a bit of A-B-C baseball. Brian Snitker was the Braves manager and he reorganized his roster to face Corey Knebel, Dodgers opening pitcher.

To start the game, Snitker partnered with Eddie Rosario (left-handed). Rosario hit a home run down the right field line. Rosario took second base, scoring later on Knebel’s wild pitch.

Riley provided the big blow. A fourth-inning homer by Riley boosted his RBI single and drew MVP cheers. 

Dodgers were not content to remain down. Chris Taylor had an RBI single in the second inning and Will Smith blasted a fourth-inning solo home run.

However, Taylor found himself on the wrong end of a late baserunning blunder. Following a Cody Bellinger pinch hit single, Taylor secured a two out walk in the ninth. 

Taylor was run down to stop the Dodgers’ threat. The Braves capitalize and win. 

Max Fried started with the Braves offense. With his ability to maneuver through difficult waters, the talented ace proved his worth. He had some problems against the Dodgers and was able to navigate around them.

Fried gave up the runs, but was strong in his second playoff appearance. In six innings, Fried allowed eight runs. His five hits were enough to keep his team alive.

He was matched by his Braves bullpen. Tyler Matzek of the Braves orchestrated an important moment in seventh inning. Matzek worked around Taylor’s leadoff double and managed to strikeout Trea Turner much to the delight of the 41,815 fans in attendance.

The Dodgers found success with their bullpen opener. Corey Knebel pitched in the first inning, and gave up a run.

The medley of bullpen arms kept the Braves at bay. With 11 consecutive outs, Knebel had the bullpen under control after the first innings. In that time, the bullpen recorded seven strikes.

For much of the game, the Braves were not balanced at the plate. The only real damage came Riley, who belted a solo home run in the fourth inning. Riley reached for his bat and hit a fastball at 92.7 mph into the outfield seats.

It was Riley’s second postseason home run as he continued to cement his breakout campaign this season.

Will Smith, Dodgers’ outfielder, provided offense to his team. Smith belted his third home run of the postseason as the Dodgers held an early 2-1 lead.

Trea Turner, Chris Taylor and Chris Taylor would each play complementary roles. Taylor finished 2-for-3, adding a RBI single in the first inning to put the Dodgers ahead. Turner scored two runs and stole base in his continued success against the Braves.

Truist park will play host to Game 2 Sunday night. Max Scherzer will face Ian Anderson in the probable pitching matchup. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:38 pm. ET.


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