Atlanta Braves’ record in MLB playoffs this year was a disappointing 88-game win total. All of this matters in October.
Atlanta won 5-4 thanks to Freddie Freeman, the reigning National League MVP. He broke a tie of 4-4 with a single home run by Josh Hader, the Milwaukee Brewers’ closer.
The Braves eliminated the Brewers in four games and advanced to the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive season.
Freeman stated, “It was a different team in half-time,” and credited the front office with several important additions made at the deadline. We’ve felt pretty positive about ourselves during the second half. Our team played really well in baseball, and that attitude carried over into the playoffs.
Atlanta led the Los Angeles Dodgers seven-game run in the NLCS last year before being defeated by the eventual World Series champions.
They hope this time it will turn out differently.
The Brewers took two-run leads in back-to-back innings, but each time the Braves immediately countered with two runs of their own.
Eddie Rosario got a 2-run hit from Milwaukee’s Eric Lauer in fourth. Travis d’Arnaud scored runs in fifth against Aaron Ashby.
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Craig Counsell, Brewers’ manager, called his closer to begin the eighth inning. He knew he would have a matchup left-on-left with Freeman, who was up for third.
Freeman took a slider from Hader and dropped it several rows in the middle field seats. This was the first homer Hader allowed since July 28.
Freeman explained, “I was just able to swing well on a pitch that I saw up” It was all random. It was a great game. Before the game I did some preparation and managed to pull one out.
Will Smith, the Braves’ closer, tossed an excellent ninth inning in order to win the game and give the Braves a chance to take on either the Dodgers (defending champion) or the San Francisco Giants (107) for the National League pennant as well as a spot in the World Series.