Sweet revenge: Atlanta Braves knock off Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to World Series

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LOS ANGELES — Atlanta is still upset that Major League Baseball snatched the All-Star Game from its beloved city this summer.

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Well, politics or not, there is nothing MLB can do to stop Atlanta now.

Atlanta will host the World Series for the first time since 1999.

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The Braves beat defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 to win the National League pennant on Saturday night.

It was sweet revenge, Southern style, with a sold-out crowd of 43,060 at Truist Park loving every minute.

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Atlanta won the National League Championship Series 4 games to 2, and will face the Houston Astros in the World Series starting Tuesday night [8:09 ET, FOX] At Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Whoever wins the World Series gets what promises to be a World Series trophy presentation.

If it’s Atlanta, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is being bullied from Cobb County to Savannah to move the All-Star Game to Denver in protest of Georgia’s voting laws.

And if it’s Houston, Manfred will be driven from the Astrodome to the Alamo for uncovering the Astro’s cheating scandal, which led to the firing of GM Jeff Luhno and manager AJ Hinch and caused national embarrassment.

Who would have ever thought that six games in June, with no more than .500 by August 6th, and an opening outfield that wasn’t even in the outfit until the last two weeks of July?

Now, with everyone in the NL East reaching the World Series since their last voyage, they are the kings of the National League.

It was hardly a sham. It was just the Braves warming up at the right time.

He lost his best player (Ronald Acuna), best pitcher (Mike Soroka), and best slugger (Marcel Ozuna) during the season, making six mid-season trades to survive as a real tear is gone, 43 -22 going since August 1, including a 7-3 record in the latter part of the season.

“We’re playing a .630, .640 win-percent baseball,” said first baseman Freddie Freeman, the face of the franchise, who is a free agent. “So, it’s nothing new for us. We’ve been a really good team for a really long time, so we’ve been playing really good baseball lately.”

That’s enough to make the $270 million club cry.

“I mean, sometimes it’s just the teams heat up,” says Dodgers All-Star outfielder Mookie Bates. “I guess we can find answers and this, that, and others, but sometimes you’re not hot. It makes it really hard to win like that.”

Again, once you have Eddie Rosario on your team, having a one-man dodger-wrecking crew voted NLCS Most Valuable Player makes winning a lot easier.

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Rosario, acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline, hit .560 (14-for-25) with three homers and nine RBIs, with a franchise-record 14 hits in a postseason series.

There was no bigger hit than Rosario’s three-run homer in the fourth, breaking the 1–1 tie, and sending the crowd into a frenzy, with the party getting underway in the surrounding battery.

Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, who had never rested less in his career but was now doing so for the second time in nine days, with Max Scherzer unable to pitch, opened the fourth with two quick outs. He then moved on to number 8 hitter Travis D’Arnaud on deck with Atlanta starter Ian Anderson. Brave manager Brian Snitker decided to gamble. He jolted Anderson and dismissed the pinch hitter Ehire Adrienza.

It was the move of the series, with Adrienza hitting a double in the right-field corner, which was clearly fielded by Mookie Bates. Third base coach Ron Washington thought of sending D’Arnaud in, but with Rosario standing on the deck, it was not time to get over-aggressive.

It was the matchup of the night.

Rosario missed the hammock and the 93-mph cutter. Strike 1.

He fouled with a 93-mph cutter. strike 2.

He turned off the 93-mph cutter, took a 96-mph slider, and then switched off another 92-mph cutter and 96-mph slider.

The crowd at their feet, screaming, Buehler tried to throw a 94-mph cutter behind Rosario.

He turned it on, and sent it into the right field seats to a 3rd-run homer, on Georgia night.

He jumped, jumped, clapped his fist, and danced to home plate. He entered the dugout, but was soon kicked out, with the crowd demanding to lift the curtain.

He jumped out of the dugout, someone took off his hat, quickly tossed his right hand in the air, and disappeared.

“I’m still dreaming of big things,” said Rosario, who missed his first month of trading with an abdominal strain. “I want more at this point, and I’m just dreaming for the next thing.”

Of course, this is the World Series Championship.

The Dodgers, the defending World Series champions who had won their last seven elimination games, refused to roll over.

They survived a two-out, base-loaded jam in the sixth, when Blake Trainen caught the game after watching Austin Jackson hit a 99-mph fastball.

The Dodgers, who had only three hits in the first six innings, came back in seventh off reliever Luke Jackson. It started with a Chris Taylor double, then a Cody Bellinger walk, and an AJ Pollock run-scoring double.

Snitker immediately stunned Jackson and brought on left-hander Tyler Matzek, who has pitched in all but one game this post season.

He walked in from the bullpen, looked around, and there was a runner at third base, a runner at second base, no outsiders, and future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols at the plate.

Fiction.

He dismissed Pujols for the first out.

He dismissed pinch hitter Steven Souza for the second out.

And he knocked out former MVP Mookie Bates for the third out.

She danced on the mound, tossed her hand in the air, and screamed with joy as the crowd celebrated wildly, smelling the emerald.

Matzek came out with another 1-2-3 eighth inning, and an innings later, it was all over.

Atlanta, who had a 3-game-to-1 lead the year before losing to the Dodgers in the NLCS, certainly got their sweet revenge, with the crowd chanting Beat LA! Hit it! Hit it!

The Dodgers, who scored two or fewer in six of their 12 postseason games, carried their top four hitters 0-for-11 with five strikeouts, for the season.

Atlanta finally, after all these years, killed the giant.

Follow Nightingale on Twitter: @Bnightengale



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