MLB Playoffs 2023: Braves Rally, Diamondbacks Push Dodgers to Brink
Austin Riley and the Atlanta Braves rallied late to even their NL Division Series with Philadelphia.
Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are in big trouble against Arizona.
Held hitless into the sixth inning, the Braves erased a four-run deficit for an improbable 5-4 victory over the Phillies on two-run homers by Travis d’Arnaud and Riley and a game-ending double play for the ages Monday night.
Just like that, the best-of-five series is all tied up. Game 3 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.
In Los Angeles, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and the surprising Diamondbacks made quick work of another opposing starter, beating the Dodgers 4-2 behind Zac Gallen for a 2-0 lead in their NLDS.
The young Diamondbacks, who earned the final National League wild card despite losing their last four regular-season games, improved to 4-0 in these playoffs — all on the road against division winners.
They’ll try for a stunning sweep of the 100-win Dodgers when the series shifts to Phoenix for Game 3 on Wednesday.
Following a day off for travel, both AL Division Series resume Tuesday.
Carlos Correa and the Twins return home for Game 3 against defending World Series champion Houston. With the series tied 1-all, Minnesota sends Sonny Gray to the mound to face Cristian Javier.
“Sonny knows how to pitch,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said, “and Sonny’s not scared.”
Texas is finally back home after a two-week trip that took the wild-card Rangers from one coast to the other. But they opened 4-0 in the playoffs along the way and can close out a three-game sweep of AL East champion Baltimore on Tuesday.
Nathan Eovaldi pitches against Orioles right-hander Dean Kremer.
“It seems like we’ve been on the road for a month," first-year Texas manager Bruce Bochy said.
The Braves are the current betting favorites to win the World Series at +270, followed by the Rangers (+380) and Astros (+500), according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
A LOT ON HIS MIND
Israeli-American pitcher Dean Kremer will make his first career playoff start for Baltimore on Tuesday night while thinking about family members in Israel, where war has been declared following a deadly incursion by militant group Hamas.
Kremer said he has no hesitation about pitching Game 3 of the AL Division Series against the Texas Rangers, a game the Orioles must win to extend their season.
“I still want to pitch, but, I mean, it’s going to be in the back of my head,” Kremer said Monday.
KERSHAW COULD GET ANOTHER START
Clayton Kershaw would start Game 4 for the Dodgers if their series against the Diamondbacks gets that far. Kershaw allowed six runs and managed just one out in the series opener, getting yanked after 35 pitches.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts anticipated Kershaw would start Game 4 on Thursday.
“That’s the best option and I see it as the only option,” Roberts said Sunday.
Should the Phillies win the World Series, save a spot at the end of the Broad Street parade route for Calum Scott.
The British singer with the pop hit about loneliness and heartbreak insists he’s coming to Philly and wearing the jersey the team sent him last season as a thank you for his part in making “ Dancing On My Own ” a staple of the postseason soundtrack at Citizens Bank Park.
Scott is as amazed as anyone the song has improbably bloomed into a playoff anthem for the Phillies, who won the National League pennant last year before losing to Houston in the World Series.
“They win the World Series, I’m there, man,” Scott said. “I think at that point, you’ll have to hold me back.”
Evan Carter is 5 for 10 with three doubles, one home run and three RBIs in four postseason games for Texas. The outfielder has walked six times and has a .706 on-base percentage.
At 21 years, 40 days, he became the youngest player to reach base 12 or more times in his first four postseason games. He is the second-youngest to achieve the feat in any four-game span in the postseason behind Freddie Lindstrom, who was 18 years, 319 days old in 1924.
HOW TO WATCH
TBS is broadcasting the NLDS. Fox and FS1 are carrying the ALDS.
Division Series: Oct. 7-14
League Championship Series: Oct. 15-24
World Series: Oct. 27-Nov. 4