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The Daily Chop: Unfortunate Reversal of Roles in Game 3, Bullpen Game in Game 4, Plus More

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Luck was not on the Braves side in Game 3.

MLB: NLCS-Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

A fun and interesting thing about baseball is that a single result can produce many perspectives, both good and bad, especially when it comes to the MLB playoffs.

For instance, the Dodgers come from behind, 6-5 win over the Braves on Tuesday night not only made the NLCS now stand at 2-1 in favor of Atlanta, it continued an unfortunate trend for the Braves in Los Angeles when it comes to the payoffs. This is the seventh straight game the Braves have lost to the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in the postseason since 2013. The Braves two wins last year as the “away” team occurred as both teams played in Dallas during the 2020 MLB Playoffs.

Another unfortunate development is that the Braves entered the bottom of the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead. However, unlike the first two games of the series where the Braves had benefitted from a bit of luck, they were now on the negative side of things as Cody Bellinger connected for the game-tying home run on a pitch he normally struggles with.

Of course, there also is now the notion that the Dodgers are right back in this series, with home field advantage now equal between both teams. Plus, with the Dodgers logically being the favorite at the start of this series and this being the exact same setup that occurred before the Dodgers rallied in last year’s NLCS, this could be a moment where momentum shifts to their side.

However, despite the aforementioned perspectives that are less than ideal, there are a few positives that could easily help the Braves weather the storm. For one, Game 3 was the best offensive performance the Braves have had all series, including Freddie Freeman producing three hits.

At some point, logic suggested the Dodgers were going to have luck occur on their side just as the Braves had benefitted from it in Games 1 and 2. It has now occurred, and Atlanta knows this series is going to be a long, hard-fought battle as many expected it would be.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Braves have been here before. Just last year in Game 3, the Braves allowed 11 first-inning runs to the Dodgers. Atlanta responded by winning Game 4 in dominant fashion. Tonight, with plenty of experience to rely on and having shown the ability to positively respond to adversity in recent weeks, the Braves once again have the chance to take control of the series.

The Braves have certainly been in this situation before. And while the recent past has suggested that is not itself a positive position to be in, this current version of the Braves is certainly a roster that has succeeded in these situations more often than not over the past few months.

They simply need to do it two more times over the next four games.

Braves News

  • Though the result obviously was not what he wanted, reliever Luke Jackson suggested he would approach Cody Bellinger the same way if he had the ability to redo the game-tying at-bat in the eighth inning.
  • There was plenty of significance in Bellinger’s three-run shot, as MLB.com looked at both the historical significance and unlikely nature of the home run.
  • Though the Braves were up 5-2 with only five outs needed to secure a Game 3 win at one point, they were down 2-0 after a very rough first inning. However, despite the rough start, Charlie Morton bounced back and did his job. This certainly offers encouragement if he will be needed once again in Game 7.
  • With Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and now Charlie Morton each having been used in a start this series, Game 4 will be a bullpen game for the Braves. While a starter has not been announced, Mark Bowman looks at what options make sense.
  • Via both Battery Power and the Talking Chop Podcast, Grant McAuley, Corey McCartney, Brad Rowland, and Eric Cole break down what went wrong in Game 3 and what needs to happen for the Braves to regain control of the series in Game 4.

MLB News