The Atlanta Braves entered Game 3 of the NLCS with a 2-0 lead and they would exit the game leading 2-1. As bad as Wednesday’s game went for Atlanta, they remain in a good position in the series.
The worst case scenario coming into the game would be a short outing by Kyle Wright. It took the Dodgers exactly two pitches and one overturned call at first base to take a 1-0 lead. Wright would retire the next two batters on ground outs but would be unable to record that final out. By the time the dust cleared, five straight batters had reached, including a pair of home runs by Joc Pederson and Edwin Rios.
Wright would give way to Grant Dayton and things went from bad to worse. Betts walked, Corey Seager singled again and Justin Turner reached on the most intentional unintentional hit by a pitch that you will ever see. Calling this a hit by pitch took a run off the board momentarily, but is probably the worst call you will see the entire postseason.
Justin Turner kicks baseball, is awarded HBP. pic.twitter.com/YBkDsQ3O5F— Baseball GIFs (@BaseballGIFScom) October 14, 2020
Max Muncy connected for a grand slam six pitches later and the Dodgers would set a postseason record with 11 first inning runs. They would add another run in the second and three more in the third before they completed a scoreless frame.
Wright was charged for five hits, two walks and seven runs in just 2/3 of an inning. He threw just 28 pitches before being lifted which could be important as this series continues provided he is able to put this performance behind him. Dayton largely took one for the team throwing a season-high 62 pitches over two innings while allowing eight hits and eight runs.
After that early onslaught, the focus on this game was about limiting the damage and not blowing out the bullpen. Huascar Ynoa took over for Dayton in the third and did an excellent job in relief tossing four scoreless innings while throwing 92 pitches. Jacob Webb and Shane Greene tossed the final 2 1/3 innings of the game. Having to use Greene in this game was less than ideal but he had not pitched in either of the first two games and it could have been much worse.
Atlanta’s lone highlight from the early part of the game came in the third inning when Cristian Pache connected for his first Major League home run to give the Braves their first hit and only run.
Atlanta tacked on two more runs in the ninth against Adam Kolarek highlighted by a one-out double by Johan Camargo.
The Braves will not have long to put this one behind them as the series will continue Thursday with Game 4. Bryse Wilson will be on the mound for Atlanta while Clayton Kershaw will be the likely starter for the Dodgers.