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October 5, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

NLDS Game Two Recap: Braves 4, Dodgers 3

by Daniel Rathman


The four National League teams that qualified for the two Division Series are steered by the top-four vote getters in our annual regular-season awards balloting. But we had to wait until the seventh inning of the fourth NLDS contest to witness two of them matching wits for the first time this October.

Only one of the first six playoff games, the Red Sox’ 11-2 win over the Rays earlier on Friday afternoon, featured a lead change. And that shift quickly turned into a rout the other way, as, in the course of two innings, a 2-0 Tampa Bay advantage became an 8-2 Boston romp. Finally, as that game wrapped up at Fenway Park, the Dodgers and Braves kicked off the postseason’s first nailbiter at Turner Field.

In the top of the seventh, with the Braves ahead 2-1, Skip Schumaker led off with an infield single that caromed off of pitcher Mike Minor. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s first decision: asking A.J. Ellis to move Schumaker into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. His second: pinch-hitting Michael Young, which coaxed Braves skipper Fredi Gonzalez into pulling Minor in favor of right-hander Luis Ayala. Young followed with another infield single that put runners at the corners and sent Gonzalez back to the mound to fetch Ayala and bring in lefty Luis Avilan for Carl Crawford.

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Related Content:  Los Angeles Dodgers,  Playoffs,  Atlanta Braves,  NLDS

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/04)
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Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/05)

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