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2013 National League Division Series 2
From BR Bullpen
|2013 National League Division Series|
|Los Angeles Dodgers
92 - 70 in the NL
|3 - 1
96 - 66 in the NL
 The Teams
 Series results
|1||Los Angeles Dodgers 6 Atlanta Braves 1||October 3||Clayton Kershaw (1-0) Kris Medlen (0-1)||8:37 pm|
|2||Los Angeles Dodgers 3 Atlanta Braves 4||October 4||Zack Greinke (0-1) Mike Minor (1-0)||6:07 pm|
|3||Atlanta Braves 6 Los Angeles Dodgers 13||October 6||Julio Teheran (0-1) Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0)||8:07 pm|
|4||Atlanta Braves 3 Los Angeles Dodgers 4||October 7||Freddy Garcia (0-0) Clayton Kershaw (1-0)||9:37 pm|
 Game 1 @ Turner Field
|WP: Clayton Kershaw (1-0), LP: Kris Medlen (0-1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Adrian Gonzalez (1)|
- Attendance: 43,021
Even though they were playing at home, the Braves knew they had a tough order in front of them in Game 1, facing Clayton Kershaw, owner of the best ERA in the National League and favorite for the Cy Young Award. Their hope was that their own starter, Kris Medlen, could keep the Dodgers' offense in check and that they would manage to scratch out one or two runs against Kershaw. Things did not go as planned, however. Both pitchers started well, Medlen striking out the side in the top of the 1st and Kershaw getting the Braves out in order with two Ks of his own. In the 2nd, however, the Dodgers' rookie phenom, Yasiel Puig, hit a one-out single, then showed some of the outstanding baserunning skills that had made him a fan favorite. When Juan Uribe singled on one hop to centerfield, a ball on which 95% of players would have stopped at second, Puig headed to third without hesitation, not even drawing a throw from CF Jason Heyward. Skip Schumaker then hit a short fly to center, and again, most players would not have attempted to advance, but Puig did not hesitate and scored so easily that it was ill-advised of Heyward to attempt a throw home, as it allowed Uribe to take second. A.J. Ellis then lifted a ball towards the left field line. Converted catcher Evan Gattis was playing there; he lunged clumsily at the ball and let it fall for a double, with Uribe scoring. It was a play most left fielders would have made. Thus Medlen was down, 2-0, but the game could just as easily still have been scoreless at the point.
Gattis made another mistake in the bottom of the 2nd. He led off by landing a soft pop-up between the triangle of 1B Adrian Gonzalez, 2B Mark Ellis and RF Puig for a single, but when Chris Johnson hit a similar ball one out later, he assumed it would fall down as well. He assumed wrong, as Puig came running full tilt to make the catch, then easily doubled him off first to end the inning. The Dodgers then immediately followed with a killer blow when Carl Crawford led off the 3rd with a single then with two outs, Gonzalez hit a long fly ball to center field that landed just beyond the fence and Heyward's leaping attempt at a catch for a two-run homer.
The 4-0 lead was more than Kershaw needed. He struck out 12 batters in 7 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 3 walks. The Dodgers added an insurance run in the top of the 4th as A.J. Ellis hit his second double of the game and namesake Mark Ellis drove him in with a single. The Braves got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning when Freddie Freeman singled with one out, Gattis walked and Chris Johnson hit a single. Medlen departed after allowing the first two batters in the 5th to reach, giving way to veteran Luis Ayala, but the Mexican got out of the jam unscathed. Jordan Walden came on to pitch the 6th, but he gave up a single to Mark Ellis and a double to Hanley Ramirez, and the score was now 6-1 in favor of the Dodgers. That's how the game would end. Brian Wilson and Kenley Jansen both pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Kershaw as the Braves never really threatened a comeback.
 Game 2 @ Turner Field
|WP: Mike Minor (1-0), LP: Zack Greinke (0-1), SV: Craig Kimbrel (1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Hanley Ramirez (1)|
- Attendance: 48,966
Having been stymied by Clayton Kershaw's pitching the night before, the Braves went into Game 2 knowing they had to pull off a great performance against the Dodgers' other ace, Zack Greinke, or face the daunting prospect of heading to the West Coast two games down. Behind young Mike Minor, making his first postseason start, they managed to come through with a 4-3 win in spite of being outhit, 10 to 6. Minor did allow 8 hits in his 6 1/3 innings on the mound, but the Dodgers only managed to score once off him. That run came in the 1st inning as Mark Ellis drew a one-out walk and Hanley Ramirez immediately followed with a double to drive him in. For his part, Greinke got the Braves out in order in the 1st, but Evan Gattis led off the 2nd with a single; Brian McCann then made a productive out, grounding to first base to put Gattis in scoring position. Chris Johnson struck out for the second out, but Andrelton Simmons hit a double that tied the game.
The score remained 1-1 until the bottom of the 4th, when the Braves took their first lead of the series. Freddie Freeman hit a lead-off double, but the next two batters grounded out. However, Chris Johnson followed with a clutch single to left, and it was 2-1, Braves. In the Dodgers' 6th, Ramirez doubled and Yasiel Puig singled, but the Dodgers failed to score. They threatened again in the 7th, when Skip Schumaker led off with a single and moved to first on a sacrifice bunt by A.J. Ellis. That marked the end of Minor's day, as manager Fredi Gonzalez called on reliever Luis Ayala. Michael Young pinch-hit for Greinke and hit a single; however, Schumaker stopped at third base. More maneuvering followed, with Luis Avilan taking the mound. In one of the key plays of the game, the speedy Carl Crawford hit the ball right back to Avilan, allowing him to start an inning-ending double play.
Having escaped close calls in two successive innings, the Braves started to work on padding their lead a bit. McCann drew a walk off reliever Chris Withrow. B.J. Upton was sent in to run for the Braves' catcher. Chris Johnson then singled, but Upton stopped at second base. Simmons laid down a bunt to move both runners into scoring position with only one out. Withrow struck out Elliot Johnson for out number two, but with the pitcher's spot coming up, Jose Constanza was announced into the game as a pinch-hitter. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly played the match-up game, sending Paco Rodriguez to pitch, to which Gonzalez replied by replacing Constanza with Reed Johnson. After all those moves, the Dodgers elected to issue an intentional walk to the third Johnson of the inning. The bases were now loaded for Jason Heyward and he delivered the key hit of the game, a single to center that scored both Upton and Chris Johnson. Ronald Belisario then was brought in to pitch and he proceeded to walk B.J.'s brother, Justin Upton to load the bases again. It was now the turn of J.P. Howell to pitch, and he managed to end the inning by forcing Freeman to ground out to second. It was now 4-1 in favor of the Braves.
The Dodgers got back within one run in the top of the 8th with David Carpenter now pitching, as Mark Ellis drew a walk and Ramirez followed with a homer. Carpenter struck out the next two batters. At this point, Gonzalez decided to bring in his closer Craig Kimbrel early. Kimbrel got the third out, and after the Braves were retired in order in the bottom of the 8th, he ran into trouble in the 9th. After striking out Schumaker, he walked A.J. Ellis, who ceded way to pinch-runner Dee Gordon. With pinch-hitter Andre Ethier at the plate, Gordon attempted to steal second base but, on a close play, was nailed by back-up catcher Gerald Laird's throw. Ethier drew a walk, but Crawford ended the game by striking out. The Braves could breathe again, as the win had been far from easy.
 Game 3 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Chris Capuano (1-0), LP: Julio Teheran (0-1)|
|Home Runs: ATL - Jason Heyward (1); LA - Carl Crawford (1), Jose Uribe (1)|
- Attendance: 54,646
The Dodgers moved to within one game of winning the series with a convincing win at home in Game 3, in spite of a shaky performance by starter Hyun-Jin Ryu. Both he and Julio Teheran for the Braves were making their postseason debuts and neither did particularly well. Ryu allowed two runs right off the bat on a double by Justin Upton, a two-out single by Evan Gattis, a walk to Brian McCann and a single by Chris Johnson. The Dodgers got those two runs back and added two more in the 2nd however, as Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe singled and A.J. Ellis drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Ryu followed with a sacrifice fly and Carl Crawford with a three-run homer, and it was 4-2 Dodgers. That lead did not last, however, as Ryu allowed singles to the first three Braves batters in the 3rd to load the bases; the Braves then did not even need to get the ball out of the infield, as a ground out and a fielder's choice accounted for two runs.
It was at that point that the Dodgers began to break the game wide open. They scored two more runs in the bottom of the 3rd, retaking the lead, 6-4, and chasing Teheran from the game in the process. Once again, trouble rang early in the frame as Hanley Ramirez led off with a double, and Adrian Gonzalez drove him in with a single. Puig then forced Gonzalez, but 2B Elliot Johnson threw wildly in trying to get Puig out as well, and as a result the Cuban rookie phenom ended up on second, but only long enough to score on Skip Schumaker's single after a second out. A.J. Ellis also singled, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided to remove Ryu in favor of pinch-hitter Michael Young, seeing that Teheran was in the ropes. Mattingly's counterpart, Fredi Gonzalez, then reacted by replacing his pitcher with Alex Wood, normally a starter, and both starting pitchers were now gone from the game with the 3rd inning not yet complete. Wood struck out Young, but would soon find trouble of his own.
For the Dodgers, veteran starter Chris Capuano took the mound in place of Ryu and immediately proceeded to shut down the Braves' offense, putting up three consecutive scoreless innings. In the meantime, the Braves got to Wood in the 4th, as he committed an error that allowed Crawford to reach base, then surrendered a triple to Ramirez. After Gonzalez struck out for the second out, Puig singled in a run and Uribe followed with a two-run homer, making the score 10-4 in favor of Los Angeles. Neither team scored again until the bottom of the 8th, when the Dodgers added three more runs to their lead, with Gonzalez, Ramirez and Puig all driving in runs with singles. Jason Heyward homered off Paco Rodriguez with pinch-hitter Reed Johnson on first base in the 9th to make the final score 13-6, but those last runs were really academic, as the game had been won in the 3rd and 4th innings.
 Game 4 @ Dodger Stadium
|WP: Brian Wilson (1-0), LP: David Carpenter (0-1), SV: Kenley Jansen (1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Carl Crawford 2 (3), Juan Uribe (2)|
- Attendance: 54,438
The Dodgers eliminated the Braves with a 4-3 win in Game 4. Manager Don Mattingly decided to press his advantage by sending his ace, Clayton Kershaw, back on the mound with short rest in place of Ricky Nolasco, who had originally been announced as the starting pitcher, in hope of ending the series immediately. The plan worked to the extent that Kershaw allowed only 3 hits over 6 innings, although the Braves did manage to score a pair of unearned runs off him, and the game was finally decided in the late innings. For their part, the Braves opted for veteran Freddy Garcia, the choice having been made when Fredi Gonzalez had used his other potential option, rookie Alex Wood, as a reliever in Game 3.
The Dodgers did not waste any time getting on the board, as their leadoff hitter, Carl Crawford, homered to right to lead off the bottom of the 1st against Garcia. Hanley Ramirez then singled and stole second with one out, but was left stranded there. Crawford did it again in the 3rd, when he hit another solo homer off Garcia, doubling the Dodgers' lead. Mark Ellis followed with a double, but did not advance any further. During the regular season, a two-run lead had often been enough of a margin for Kershaw to work with, and it may have been enough today as well had the Dodgers not committed a costly error in the 4th. Freddie Freeman led off with a single, then Evan Gattis followed with a ground ball to 1B Adrian Gonzalez; trying to start a potential double play, Gonzalez threw wildly to second base, allowing both runners to be safe. They then advanced an extra 90 feet when Kershaw uncorked a wild pitch in the course of striking out Brian McCann for the first out. Chris Johnson followed with a single that drove in Freeman, then Andrelton Simmons hit a grounder to short. The Dodgers managed to force out Johnson at second base, but Simmons beat the relay to first, allowing Gattis's run to count. Both runs were unearned, but the score was tied at 2.
The Dodgers continued to place men on base, but did not manage to score again against Garcia in the 5th or 6th, and Kershaw had to leave after the 6th inning, his pitch count limit being lower than usual because of the short rest. Ronald Belisario took over on the mound in the 7th, but he gave up a one-out triple to Elliot Johnson. Fredi Gonzalez sent Jose Constanza to pinch-hit for Garcia, and he singled to center to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. Mark Ellis hit his second double of the game in the bottom of the 7th, off Luis Avilan, but he was stranded again. Brian Wilson then pitched the 8th for the Dodgers, and kept the Braves from increasing their lead in spite of giving up a pair of two-out hits. Needing six more outs, Gonzalez called his best set-up man, David Carpenter, to the mound, while strengthening his defense by putting Paul Janish at second in place of Elliot Johnson, moving Justin Upton from right field to left field, and putting Jordan Schafer in right while Gattis left the game. However, the Dodgers jumped on Carpenter immediately: Yasiel Puig led off the inning with a double and Juan Uribe followed with a blast to left field to give the lead back to the Dodgers, 4-3. Mattingly then inserted the hard-throwing Kenley Jansen to close the game and he did it in style, striking out Schafer, Heyward and Upton in order, to send Los Angeles to the National League Championship Series.
 Related Sites
|Major League Baseball National League Division Series