Video Credit: MLB

Recap: Dodgers vs Braves – NLCS – Game 4

Dodgers (6-3)  |  Braves (8-1)


The Dodgers faced the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series.


Heading into Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers and the Braves went into it with different agendas. The Dodgers absolutely decimated the Braves in Game 3. The game was over in the first inning with the eleven run route way to a 15 run game vs. Atlanta. Clayton Kershaw got the start for Game 4 after not pitching in his initial rotation day due to back spasms. Kershaw would be pitching in one of the most important postseason games in his career. Due to it being the NLCS and his noted postseason struggles, Kershaw needed to show he is the same pitcher as he was in the regular season. Armed with increased velocity on his fastball from his offseason work and bite to his curveball mixed with that potent Dodgers offense, he has one of his best chances to have a statement game.


Game 4 – Loss 10-2


Dodgers vs Braves
Photo Credit: Eric Gay/AP

The Dodgers hitters went down in order in the first inning against Braves right-hander Bryce Wilson. In the bottom of the inning, Clayton Kershaw matched his opponent; he gave up a hit to Acuna Jr but got out of the inning on a great 6-4-3 double play that Marcell Ozuna hit into. To start the game, Kershaw seemed to have no problem with the wind, which was gusting at Globe Life Field. He threw the fastball in on hitters and established the slider early. He looked as though he didn’t even need his rainbow curveball, that also happens to be his best pitch.

The Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman and other players had trouble seeing due to the high wind and blowing dirt at the stadium and caused players to grab glasses and cover their eyes all over the field. The wind even played into how fielders got a read on the ball and made fans see many outfielders searching for the ball like it was their first little league game.

The Dodgers designated hitter Edwin Rios pulled a fastball and took it deep to right-center and over the wall to score the first run of the game and give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Following the Rios bomb, the rest of the hitters for LA went down in order. This game definitely did not have the same feel as the last few games. Both teams got through the first few innings quickly and did not see much traffic on the base paths. The third inning looked like Kershaw might have his first bit of trouble after a bullet hit that flew off the heel of Corey Seager’s glove for a single, then a battle with Pache that ended with Kershaw striking out Pache after a tough at-bat.


The back spasms did not look like they affected Kershaw in this start.


In the fourth inning, Ozuna took Kershaw deep to left field for a solo shot to tie the game. Kershaw was cruising along up until that point. He walked a batter after that score and seemed to start struggling with control. Kershaw made a fantastic play on a chopper near third to throw out the speedy Ozzie Albies. Justin Turner got in on the action next by making a difficult throw to first and get out of the inning. Wilson struck the side out in order in the fifth inning, and two of the Dodgers hitters went down looking. Kershaw matched the young Braves pitcher in his half of the inning and appeared to have more control and confidence after the rocky previous inning.


Dodgers vs Braves
Photo Credit: Kelly Gavin/Getty Images

Dodgers hitters couldn’t seem to put a good barrel on the ball halfway through the game, and the wind still had not subsided. The Dodgers went down in order again in the sixth. After allowing a single to Acuna Jr on a chopper back to the mound, Kershaw would give up back to back doubles that would each score a run and give the braves a 3-1 lead. This would force Dave Roberts to go to the bullpen and pull his veteran left-hander to try and keep the game in reach while being down a game in the series.

Roberts called upon the young gun slinging Brusdar Graterol to replace Kershaw. Travis D’Arnaud laced a ball into right off Graterol that let everyone see Mookie Betts insane athleticism as he showed off his vertical to grab a ball hit over his head and save a run from scoring. Atlanta tacked a few more runs in the sixth against LA with a bullet down the third baseline from Dansby Swanson, who would score on the next hit by Austin Riley. The inning finally ended after the Dodgers allowed six runs in the almost 40-minute bottom half of the side.

Justin Turner started the top of the seventh inning battling against Atlanta’s Will Smith, and he won with a sharply hit single. Smith would walk Max Muncy and Bellinger while Pollock had a loud out that was barely kept in the park by the wind. Edwin Rios hit a sac fly to center for the second out and reduce Atlanta’s lead to five runs. Bellinger got his first steal of the postseason on a ground ball in the dirt that Atlanta conceited. Matt Beatty was in the box, earning a walk on a borderline pitch to load the bases. The inning ended with the bases loaded on a sharply hit ball to Albies that he had to stretch to make the play.

Roberts again would go to his pen, and Dylan Floro started the bottom of the seventh by allowing Ozuna to hit his second home run of the game and put the lead back to six. Corey Seager made an impossible play to first on a ball chopped by Albies that was so close it almost needed review. Floro got his strikeout to end the inning and put the bats back in the Dodgers’ hands.


The Dodgers hitting struggles seemed to continue all game and the inability to drive in runners on base was the difference-maker in what the score could have been.


The eighth inning for the Dodgers was stagnant. Besides the Turner single, they could not get in any more runs. In the previous game, the Dodgers could not miss a ball, and this game, the opposite was the case. Floro went back out for the eighth and recorded a strikeout and fly out before being replaced by Jake McGee to try and record the final out with runners on, but would allow a bloop single to Freeman and Ozuna that scored another two runs an make it a 10-2 ball game, which was the final score.

The Dodgers will need to find whatever they did in Game 3 to make this a series and keep their World Series hopes alive.


The first pitch for Game 5 is scheduled for 6:08 pm PT and will air on FS1.



Dodgers vs Braves NLCS Game 5 Preview


The Dodgers play the Braves in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series next game. Being down 3-1 in the series makes every game here on out is an elimination game. The Dodgers will need to play that way and give their pitching staff as much run support as possible to keep the series alive. With Buehler and other pieces of the bullpen available for the next few games, Dave Roberts will have some tough decisions to make and no room for error from here out.



Scheduled to pitch in Game 5 Friday

Dodgers: Dustin May / Braves: TBD

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-Rich Decristan – Franchise Sports Media

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