Video Credit: MLB

Recap: Dodgers vs Braves – NLCS – Game 5

Dodgers (7-3)  |  Braves (8-2)


“Guys are loose and ready to go. Obviously, we know what’s in front of us and ready to attack this thing one pitch, one inning at a time. There’s a lot of guys in this room that have faced elimination games before, so we have that experience. One thing we talked about is this is an opportunity to do something special. Everyone’s accepting the challenge and ready to go.” – Dodgers infielder Justin Turner



Dodgers vs Braves
Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin/AP

The Dodgers came into NLCS Game 5 knowing they must win three consecutive games to reach the World Series after losing three of the first four.

With the Dodgers facing elimination, their third baseman Justin Turner seemed upbeat about the Dodgers chances for a comeback before Friday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

“We have a good text, and a few guys said some things last night in a group text, and everyone seemed fired up and ready to go,” Turner told reporters before the game. “The more and more you see guys, the more you know their arsenal and pitch tendencies,” Turner continued. “It’s one thing to watch them on an iPad or computer, another thing to be in the box and actually see for yourself. We’re looking forward to getting another crack at those guys and see what happens another time.”

It’s been the left-handed Dodgers hitters driving the offense in the NLCS. Lefties have five of the top six OPS on the team and are hitting .302/.438/.762 with eight home runs in 80 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Braves pitchers have neutralized the right-handers to the tune of .182/.250/.247 with one home run in 84 plate appearances.

This is NOT how the Dodgers or any of the experts thought the series would play out. Could the team who everyone considered to be the best in baseball keep their season alive and force a Game 6?



Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves – National League Championship Series Game #5



Game 5 – Win – 7-3



Dodgers vs Braves
Photo Credit: MLB

The Dodgers turned to their young future ace Dustin May to keep their season alive, but May only lasted two innings, gave up two earned runs, and struggled to find the strike zone. Meanwhile, the Braves went with left-hander A.J. Minter, and he was unhittable, much like Game 4 starting pitcher Bryse Wilson the night before.

It really didn’t matter early on as the Braves remained the hot-hitting team and were up  2-0 after the first three innings. On the other hand, the Dodgers only had one hit, a Turner double in the first inning that didn’t result in anything.

At this point in the game, Mookie Betts made the play that may have saved the Dodgers season. With Marcell Ozuna on third, Dansby Swanson hit a sinking line drive to right field. Betts made a shoestring catch, but his throw home was just a tad late to nab Ozuna. But Braves DH left third base too early, and after a Dodgers’ appeal (and challenge), it was determined that he was out, and the Dodgers escaped the inning without giving up a run.

That play woke the Dodgers up and gave them new life. L.A. shortstop Corey Seager led off the fourth inning with a solo home run, his third of the NLCS, to cut the Atlanta lead in half.


The score remained the 2-1 until the top of the sixth inning.


Dodgers’ catcher Will Smith hit a three-run home run off of the Braves reliever Will Smith on a 3-2 pitch to give L.A. a 4-2 lead. It was an at-bat that, for baseball fans, was a thing a beauty. He took every pitch except the fastball, which he hit deep in the leftfield bleachers. He took two tough off-speed pitches that started off looking like strikes but went out of the zone for balls to run the count full. In-fact, until Smith’s home run swing, the Dodgers took 11 straight Smith pitches.


Dodgers vs Braves
Photo Credit: USA Today

The Dodgers then scored three more runs in the top half of the seventh inning. With two outs, Chris Taylor doubled. Two pitches before the hit, the umpire thought a pitch hit him, and the Braves asked for a replay. The replay showed that the ball hit the knob of the bat, so he was called back to hit. After the double, Betts hit a 1-2 pitch to left field to score Taylor. Seager came up and promptly hit his second home run of the night to give the Dodgers a 7-2 lead.

The Braves tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the Dodgers lead to 7-3. But the Dodgers bullpen shut down Atlanta to preserve the win and keep their season alive for another day.

An important note is that Kenley Jansen came in for the ninth inning and struck out the side. That could be a great sign for L.A. considering how poorly he pitched in the NLDS, losing his job as the closer.

For the Dodgers to win Game 6, they need to stay hot. They have to keep the pressure on the Braves and their young starting pitcher, Max Fried. They could also use a strong start by Walker Buehler, their #1 starter. It would be ideal if Buehler can give them 6+ strong innings. This would help the Dodgers’ bullpen get some much-needed rest. They also can’t give the Braves any hope or momentum since it seems like the team that gets that at some point in any game will end up winning it.



The Dodgers and Braves will now face off in another must win game. Game 6 of the NLCS Saturday afternoon with the first pitch scheduled for 1:38 pm. Watch the game on FS1.



Scheduled to pitch in Game 6 


Dodgers: Walker Buehler (0-0 / 2.77 ERA) – Braves: Max Fried (0-0 / 2.65)


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Joe Arrigo

Twitter: JoeArrigo

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