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Mike Minor pitches in as Braves bring the NLDS to Los Angeles at 1-1

Oct 4, 2013, 9:38 PM EST

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Two Getty Images

We knew going into the playoffs that the Braves’ biggest strength was their pitching and it shone through tonight against the Dodgers. Starter Mike Minor held the Dodgers to one run over six and one-third innings of work on eight hits and a walk while striking out five. The Dodgers’ lone run against him came on a Hanley Ramirez RBI double in the first inning that staked the Dodgers to a 1-0 lead.

The Braves struck back in the second as Andrelton Simmons doubled to right field to score Evan Gattis, tying the game at one apiece. They would take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth following a Freddie Freeman lead-off double and a two-out RBI single by Chris Johnson.

The Dodgers appeared to be in prime position to at least tie the game in the seventh, putting runners on first and third with one out on two infield singles by Skip Schumaker and pinch-hitter Michael Young, but Carl Crawford sharply grounded back to reliever Luis Avilan, who fired to shortstop Andrelton Simmons to complete an inning-ending double play.

The Braves added two crucial insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of some overmanaging by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly (which we will cover in upcoming posts). Rather than let right-handed reliever Chris Withrow pitch to the light-hitting left-handed hitter Jose Constanza, Mattingly opted to call on lefty reliever Paco Rodriguez. That prompted Fredi Gonzalez to pinch-hit for Constanza with Reed Johnson, which then allowed Mattingly to walk Johnson to reacquire the platoon advantage by allowing Rodriguez to face Jason Heyward. Heyward responded by driving a single up the middle, scoring two runs.

In the eighth inning, Braves reliever David Carpenter helped breathe new life into the Dodgers, walking Mark Ellis to lead off the inning, then surrendering a two-run home run that just barely got over the fence in the left field corner, bringing the score to 4-3. He calmed down, striking out two, then gave way to closer Craig Kimbrel attempting a four-out save. Kimbrel got Juan Uribe to ground out to end the eighth inning, then worked around two ninth inning walks to seal the 4-3 victory for the Braves.

With the series tied at 1-1, play will resume on Sunday in Los Angeles as Braves starter Julio Teheran will oppose Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu.

 

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    it seems the way the braves can beat the dodgers will be by getting to their bullpen. If they can take out the starter in 5 or 6 innings and get to that bullpen they can very well squeeze out a few wins. Either way being a baseball fan this series and they pirates cards have been very entertaining to watch.

  2. emdash01 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Mattingly has been out-managed by Fredi all series, really, if you include yesterday’s baffling call to have Uribe bunt with the bottom of the order following, allowing the Braves to walk the 7th hitter to get out of the inning harmlessly. But the decision to take out a pitcher to get a more favorable match-up with Jose Constanza is a whole new level of terrible.

  3. ditchparrot19 - Oct 4, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    I’m rooting for the Dodgers, but it was nice to see a competitive ballgame after four straight blowouts to begin the postseason.

  4. misterj167 - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    That’s been the Brave’s modus operandi most of the year, but of course the Dodgers pen is really pretty solid. Good win tonight for the Braves after a disheartening loss yesterday, now let’s see if they can get a road win, or two. Not sure if they want to face Kershaw again in a game five.

  5. sycophanticide - Oct 4, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    Mattingly out managed Fredi?

    You mean the same guy that took down Gattis AND McCann with BJ in the 7th?

    Why the fuck did Laird come in? We have a weak ass bench and Fredi kills two bats for 2 sure outs.

    Gattis should have moved to catcher, BJ to center, Justin to left, and Heyward to right.

    Time to fire Fredi and bring in Eddie Perez!

    • jjschiller - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      So you wanted Evan Gattis behind the plate in the 9th inning of a one-run game in the playoffs, because the one at-bat he lost was worth more than one inning of defense?

      You’re saying that AFTER you saw Kimbrel walk two guys, and catcher defense prevent it from constituting a rally?

  6. scdocal - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    What’s up with all the check swings being called strikes for the braves and balls for the dodgers. Kimbrel had two that would have made the 9th a lot easier.

  7. spacemaker101 - Oct 5, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I agree with the check swings.. But it’s kimbrel in the 9th I wanted to see the strikeout too.. But to the guy above me that says gattis should of been behind the plate in the ninth.. . I guess you would rather have a rookie behind the plate than a veteran that’s been to the World Series last two years in a row… Hahahah that’s why you’re on here typing what should of happen and not actually making calls. Hahahhahha good try

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