NLCS Game 6 storylines to watch

LOS ANGELES — Do you like high stakes? Then you’ll like the baseball that’s going to be played in Atlanta this weekend.

It’s not simply that the Braves lead the Dodgers 3 video games to 2 in a securely objected to National League Championship Series, which has actually seen 3 video games chosen in the last at-bat.

Consider the traditions on the line. Consider the Hall of Famers and All-Stars who can contribute to their October legend. Consider the stories that will either be quashed or reviewed over the next 2 nights.

Ahead of this weekend’s remarkable conclusion to an awesome 2021 NLCS, here are 7 significant stories in play.

They play baseball in Atlanta, so, yes, they understand the story. The Braves have actually invested years reaching the postseason without a World Series title to reveal for it because 1995. They’ve won just 2 of 12 prospective clinch video games in the playoffs throughout the previous twenty years.

The story, obviously, runs even more than that. It’s state-wide. The Falcons blew a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI. The University of Georgia blew a 13-0 halftime lead at the 2018 National Championship video game. The Braves had 2-0 and 3-1 leads in the NLCS a season ago (similar to they did this year).

The Braves likewise understand they now have the power to put an end to that discourse.

“That’s going to be the story,” Braves initially baseman Freddie Freeman stated. “Every day it’s brought up. So I don’t think we have a choice — until we kill that narrative. We’re up 3-2 going home. It’s a great position to be in.”

2. A Dodgers dynasty in the balance?

Consider the series of results for the ruling champ Dodgers.

They win the World Series for a 2nd successive year, and we get to begin asking the “dynasty” concern. The Dodgers reached the postseason in 9 straight years, and no group has actually duplicated as champs because the Yankees won 3 directly from 1998-2000.

If Los Angeles loses, the reaction will be various. No one is selling that 2020 title — it was made through unimaginable situations. But it can be found in a season that was, without concern, various than any other in current memory. On top of that, the Dodgers are looking down the prospective departures of Game 5 hero Chris Taylor, shortstop Corey Seager, closer Kenley Jansen and longtime ace Clayton Kershaw.

Yeah, there’s a lot riding on this 2021 playoff run for Los Angeles.

Twelve years is an amazing number for any ballplayer, however do not advise Freeman for how long he’s remained in the major leagues.

“I don’t like hearing 12 years — that’s a long time,” Freeman stated with a laugh. “It means I’m getting toward the end. It would be nice [to reach the World Series]. We’ve been so close.”

Freeman, who remains in the last year of his agreement, is a certifiable Braves legend. This is his 6th journey to the postseason with Atlanta. But he’s never ever used the sport’s most significant phase.

“If you ask every player, it would mean a lot to them for us to get to the World Series for him,” Braves 3rd baseman Austin Riley stated.

What an October renaissance for Albert Pujols. No, he’s not the exact same gamer who when mashed 3 homers in a 2011 World Series video game. But he’s an extremely important piece on a group with World Series goals. Who saw that can be found in 2021?

The Dodgers signed Pujols midseason after he was designated for project by the Angels. The strategy was to utilize him as a squad bat; Pujols would begin versus left-handers and work as an important pinch-hitter when righties begin.

In that function this postseason, Pujols has actually grown. He’s 5-for-15 and reached base 3 times in Thursday’s Game 5 success.

“I don’t take anything for granted,” stated Pujols, who taped his very first postseason struck versus Randy Johnson twenty years back. “I take my at-bats like it’s my last game of my career, and that’s been the same since Day 1, when I got the opportunity to wear a uniform with the Cardinals.”

If the Dodgers can discover a method to reverse yet another 3-1 deficit in the NLCS, they’ll be headed to a vengeance World Series, one method or another.

If Boston can install its own return, the Dodgers would get a possibility to avenge their 2018 World Series defeat. That series would include a handful of reunions, consisting of previous Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts going back to Boston for the very first time because his trade, and previous Dodgers Alex Verdugo and Kiké Hernández taking their chance ats L.A.

And if it’s not the Red Sox, who presently track 3 video games to 2, it’ll be Dodgers-Astros — a series that needs to require definitely no intro.

6. Brilliant bullpens fighting

The Dodgers and Braves both have actually totally rested beginners lined up for Games 6 and 7. It’ll be Atlanta’s Ian Anderson versus L.A.’s Max Scherzer for Game 6, then Charlie Morton vs. Walker Buehler in Game 7.

But thinking about how well these 2 bullpens have actually pitched in October, it will be remarkable to see how these 2 supervisors run. The Dodgers’ back-end trio of Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen and Jansen has actually been electrical in October. But the Braves’ bullpen, reviled for much of the season, has actually been almost as efficient. Tyler Matzek, Will Smith and A.J. Minter have actually permitted 2 runs amongst them all postseason. Matzek in specific has actually been a workhorse, pitching in each of the group’s very first 8 championship game.

The beginning pitchers will get the headings, and truly so — they’re 4 of the video game’s leading arms. But this series may be chosen by 2 exceptional relief corps.

7. The legend of Max Scherzer

There can be no questioning Max Scherzer’s October tradition. He’s made 26 profession postseason looks with a 3.22 age and a 1.10 WHIP. (Remember, those numbers are just versus the very best groups with, typically speaking, the very best offenses.) On top of that, Scherzer gutted his method through the 2019 World Series while handling back difficulty, assisting raise the Nationals to their very first title.

Earlier this month, Scherzer began Game 3 of the NL Division Series versus the Giants, pitching 7 innings of one-run ball. Then, he made the conserve in Game 5, prior to beginning Game 2 of the NLCS.

That type of work can take a toll on anybody, Scherzer consisted of. He stated is arm was “dead” after his Game 2 start, and the Dodgers solved to offer him complete rest (plus an additional day) prior to his Game 6 getaway.

If he can assist bring another group to another title, it would seal his status as one of the all-time greats. October tends to do that.

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