The Dodgers probably wish they would have saved some of their 15 runs of Game 3 for Game 4. Coming into the game, Clayton Kershaw had never lost to the Atlanta Braves in his 14 starts against the club, including the postseason. He couldn't have picked a worse time for his first loss to the Braves as they ran away with the game in the sixth inning winning 10-2.
While Kershaw's poor performance in the playoffs might not be surprising to some, he was dominant in his two other postseason performances this season against the Brewers and Padres. Whether he was still dealing with the effects of back spasms that scratched him from Game 2, he was not missing any bats and now the Dodgers on the brink of elimination, down 3-1 going into Game 5.
What may have been the most surprising performance of all was that of starter Bryse Wilson. He wasn't particularly special this season only pitching 15 innings and his career ERA was near six. It seemed like you'd be wasting your money betting on Wilson over Kershaw, but he more than defied expectations. His job was not even to even match Kershaw's performance. He was supposed to limit the bleeding and pitch long enough to get to the bullpen.
Wilson had a great day at the office. That's putting it mildly. This former linebacker, only gave up one hit which was a homer to DH Edwin Ríos. But he had five strikeouts in six innings and by the time he left the game he was tied with Kershaw. It was good enough for the win after the Dodgers' pitching meltdown. The Dodgers couldn't take any of Game 3's 15-run momentum. It's going to take everything in their arsenal to come back in this series to avoid the Braves going to the World Series for the first time since 1999.
What TV Channel is Dodgers-Braves on?
Dodgers-Braves will be shown on FS1 at 9:08 p.m. ET. You can live stream MLB Playoff Games on fuboTV.
How to Watch Braves-Dodgers
When: Friday, October 16
Where: Globe Life Field - Arlington, TX
Time: 9:08 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch MLB Playoffs free with fuboTV)
A big reason for the breakout in Game 4 was Marcell Ozuna. He was 2-13 in the series after he led the National League in homers and RBIs before he went went on a tear going 4-5 with two homers. Ronald Acuña Jr. who had been similarly struggling in the series, went 2-4 in Game 4. With this duo hitting added to Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies already raking, there's no telling what this team can do.
The Dodgers will put up Dustin May who has a 1.13 ERA in five postseason appearances. He really stood out for the Dodgers this year winning three games with a 2.57 ERA in 56 innings. They will need him to go deep to save the Dodgers season. If he doesn't and the Dodgers need to limit the damage to get back in it, don't be surprised if Walker Buehler comes in on short rest to try to keep LA alive.
The Braves have not announced a starter before Game 5. They might go the rout of the Tampa Bay Rays and do a day of pitching by committee. Can the Braves punch their ticket to the World Series tonight? Either way, the bats of the Braves should be able to keep up with whatever the Dodgers throw at them as they showed in Game 4 that they wouldn't be deterred by a 15-run blowout from the night before.