MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
LA Dodgers0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2100
Atlanta1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 360
  W: W. Smith (1-0)   L: B. Treinen (0-1)
5:08 PM PT6:08 PM MT7:08 PM CT8:08 PM ET20:08 ET0:08 GMT8:08 5:08 PM MST7:08 PM EST7:38 PM VEN4:08 UAE (+1)6:08 PM CT, October 16, 2021
Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 41,815

Nail-biter Dodgers, rested Braves ready to begin NLCS rematch

According to STATS
According to STATS

Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves

  1. This is a rematch of last year's NLCS, which the Dodgers won in seven games (overcoming a 3-1 series deficit). The Dodgers hit 16 home runs in that series, tying the record for one team in a Championship Series (AL or NL) set by the Rays in the 2008 ALCS.
  2. The 18-win difference in regular-season wins between the Dodgers (106-56) and Braves (88-73) is the largest in any MLB postseason series since 2005, when the Cardinals (100-62) swept the Padres (82-80) in a Division Series.
  3. The Dodgers won four of their six regular-season games against the Braves this year. The Braves won two of the three games when the teams played in Atlanta in early June, but the Dodgers swept a three-game series against the Braves in Los Angeles (Aug. 30-Sept. 1).
  4. Max Scherzer had 10 strikeouts in his Game 3 loss to the Giants in the Division Series. Scherzer has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in a postseason game five times in his MLB career, third most among current pitchers, behind Justin Verlander (seven times) and Clayton Kershaw (six).
  5. The Braves allowed runs in only three innings in their Division Series against the Brewers: two runs in the seventh inning in Game 1, and two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings in Game 4. A pair of two-run homers by Rowdy Tellez accounted for four of the six runs Milwaukee scored in the series.
  6. Max Fried has started three postseason series openers (all last year) and the Braves won all three games, though Fried did not get the decision in any of them. Fried pitched six innings against the Dodgers in Game 1 of last year's NLCS, and the one run he allowed in that game was on a home run by Kiké Hernandez.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 10/16/2021 thru 10/16/2021

The plan is coming together for the Atlanta Braves, who are back in the National League Championship Series amid a series of circumstances that couldn't have turned out better if they had laid them out themselves.

The Braves will host the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 on Saturday night, earning home-field advantage in the rematch of last year's seven-game NLCS despite their opponent having a better regular-season record.

The Braves, the NL East Division champions, were 88-73 in the regular season but get to host the NLCS opener, and a potential Game 7, because the 106-win Dodgers failed to win their division before they advanced through the wild-card game.

Atlanta also has the advantage of finishing off the Milwaukee Brewers early in the NL Division Series -- three games to one -- and were able to set up their rotation, while the Dodgers were slugging it out in a five-game NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.

That the defending World Series champion Dodgers had to use two of their starting pitchers in Thursday's NLDS clincher, including Max Scherzer for one inning as an impromptu closer, only played further into the Braves' hand.

Yet despite the scenarios, and the Braves' playoff familiarity with the Dodgers, they aren't gloating over the matchup. Especially since the Dodgers won last year's playoff duel.

"No, it's always challenging to go up against this team," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "Are you kidding me? No matter how familiar you are with this club, it's challenging when you (just) have a three-game series against them."

Left-hander and Los Angeles-area native Max Fried will start Game 1 for the Braves. He was 0-1 in two starts against the Dodgers in last year's seven-game NLCS but did have a 2.84 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings. In five regular-season starts against the Dodgers, he is 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA.

Fried is 1-0 this postseason, pitching six scoreless innings in a 3-0 victory over the Brewers on Oct. 9.

"There's no secrets," Fried said of the NLCS matchup. "We know each other well enough by now, and it's just going out there and handling it between the lines."

The Dodgers will try to handle an opponent bent on revenge by using the momentum created by Thursday's nail-biting, 2-1 clincher over the Giants.

After a miserable season marred by injuries and a lack of productivity, Cody Bellinger drove in the go-ahead run Thursday in the ninth inning. After Julio Urias, in a relief role, was solid over four innings through the middle of the game, Scherzer pitched a scoreless ninth, helped by a controversial check-swing third strike for the last out on Wilmer Flores.

Los Angeles right-hander Corey Knebel will serve as the presumptive opener on Saturday.

The Dodgers announced the move just a few hours before the series opener.

Knebel (0-0, 0.00 ERA) also was named as the late starter on Thursday afternoon for that night's pivotal Game 5 against the Giants. He struck out one batter and allowed one hit in one scoreless inning versus San Francisco.

The Dodgers were sporadic on offense against the Giants, getting shut out twice, scoring a combined 16 runs in their first two victories in the series, then doing just enough in Game 5.

One reason for the inconsistency was the absence of Max Muncy and his career-best 36 home runs. He was left off the NLCS roster on Saturday after he dislocated his left elbow in the regular-season finale.

"I've talked about it for six years; our expectation every year is to play through October," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "You're going to have highs, lows, some tough games where you got to kind of pick things up to win a ballgame. So I have no doubt our guys are going to come ready to beat the Braves in Game 1."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 16, 2021

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