ATLANTA–Good evening, and welcome to 11Alive’s real-time blog of the National League Divisional Series, featuring the Dodgers and hometown Atlanta Braves.
Tonight’s pitching matchup–Mike Foltynewicz (13-10, 2.85 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) vs. Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 1.97 ERA, 1.00 WHIP).
Here’s the starting lineup for the Braves:
1. LF Ronald Acuna Jr.
2. 3B Johan Camargo
3. 1B Freddie Freeman
4. RF Nick Markakis
5. C Tyler Flower
6. 2B Ozzie Albies
7. CF Ender Inciarte
8. SS Charlie Culberson
9. P Mike Foltynewicz
7:35 p.m. EST
Sports Extra contributor might be a little surprised to see Tyler Flowers get the start at catcher over Kurt Suzuki; but it makes sense, given the following reason:
Flowers has been electric against left-handed pitchers this season, posting supreme tallies with batting average (.348), on-base percentage (.511), slugging (.606) and OPS (1.117) versus southpaws.
Granted we’re only talking about 66 at-bats here; but still, those are robust splits, for sure.
7:38 p.m. EST
I’m writing from a local Hudson Grille down the street, since my place in Marietta doesn’t have MLB Network.
This bar also happens to be an official hub for the New England Patriots … meaning it should be an interesting battle between Braves fans and Patriots zealots–in terms of who wins out with house sound.
I’ll keep everyone posted, in case a bar brawl should ensue. (Half-joking.)
8:04 p.m. EST
First pitch is slated for 8:37 p.m., presumably allowing time for Brewers-Rockies to finish.
8:47 p.m. EST
The Braves’ inaugural inning ends without incident, with only Freddie Freeman posting a base hit off Hyun-Jin Ryu.
BRAVES 0, DODGERS 0
8:51 p.m. EST
And just like that … the scoreboard is now goose egg-free, thanks to Joc Pederson’s leadoff homer. Throw in a double from Justin Turner, and things are looking a little shaky for Foltynewicz.
Of course, what else would you expect from one’s playoff debut?
8:58 p.m. EST
Back-to-back strikeouts from Foltynewicz, with one of the victims being Manny Machado.
9:02 p.m. EST
Yasiel Puig … with the bases loaded and two outs? Oh, this should be fun.
9:05 p.m. EST
Off a full count, Foltynewicz throws an apparent ball-4 … but Puig chases it to the outside zone. Strike three!
DODGERS 1, BRAVES 0
9:12 p.m. EST
It’s a 1-2-3 inning for the Braves in the 2nd. At this rate, the Dodgers won’t have to dip into their bullpen until the 7th.
DODGERS 1, BRAVES 0
9:25 p.m. EST
Well, so much for Foltynewicz finding his sea legs in subsequent innings.
After retiring the first two hitters, Foltynewicz then hit Joc Pederson with a pitch (1-2 count), walked Justin Turner and then surrendered a three-run dinger to Max Muncy.
This could get ugly, folks.
DODGERS 4, BRAVES 0
Another 1-2-3 inning for the Braves offense, including a Foltynewciz strikeout.
Which brings us to this: Manager Brian Snitker must keep Foltynewicz in the game for at least two more innings, barring another barrage of Dogers runs. Otherwise, he wasted an opportunity to jump-start Atlanta’s offense with a pinch-hitter.
DODGERS 4, BRAVES 0
9:39 p.m. EST
I am stunned–stunned–to see Sean Newcomb enter the game, after Foltynewicz just batted in the top of the 3rd. This would be a moment to criticize Snitker.
In-game management means EVERYTHING during the playoffs.
9:52 p.m. EST
Hyun-Jin Ryu has retired 10 straight Braves batters, which kind of represents the tone for Game 1.
In fact, my friends are all complaining about the lack of strength of the National League East, implying that Atlanta was lucky to reach the postseason.
Would anyone really contest that assertion? It’s the benefit of playing in a lackluster division … but it’s also not a bad thing.
The Braves will be ready to win postseason rounds next season; so in essence, anything accomplished now should be seen as gravy.
Just my two cents.
10:08 p.m. EST
Ender Inciarte breaks the Braves’ four-inning drought … hitting a seeing-eye single with two outs in the fifth inning.
10:12 p.m. EST
The Braves go down quietly in the 5th … things aren’t looking good here for a comeback.
10:39 p.m. EST
Keke Hernandez just blasted a solo homer off Brad Brach, foiling Snitker’s attempt at benefiting from the righty-righty matchup.
Frankly speaking, this night has not been one for the books for Snitker.
DODGERS 5, BRAVES 0
11:40 p.m. EST
This was a humbling night for the Braves … no other way around it.
DODGERS 6, BRAVES 0
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