Freddie Freeman put the Atlanta Braves ahead, then watched from first base as they almost give away the lead — and possibly their whole season.
“My heart’s still pounding,” he said, moments after the last out. “That’s how we’ve been all year.”
“I like our chances. We’ve got a uniform on, so we know we’ve got a chance,” Freeman said.
Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a grand slam that helped the Braves build an early 5-0 lead. After the Dodgers rallied to tie it, Freeman homered in the sixth.
In the ninth, the Dodgers got runners on first and second with no outs after a single and a walk. Vizcaino came back from a 3-0 count to strike out slugger Max Muncy, and followed up by fanning Manny Machado on a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third.
Because the Braves had already used their allotment of six mound visits, no one could go out to talk with the Atlanta closer, to give him a moment to settle down.
Not that he needed a break, apparently.
With the entire crowd at SunTrust Park standing, chanting and chopping, Vizcaino fanned a swinging Brian Dozier to end it.
“Credit to our guys for fighting back,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “… We had our chances. And those guys made some pitches and got out of some traffic, but our guys stressed them, got on base, and gave ourselves an opportunity. But yeah, to take us over the top and take the lead again, we couldn’t get that one extra hit.”
Game 4 is Monday afternoon at Atlanta.
Acuna connected in the second, right after Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler walked Braves starter Sean Newcomb on four pitches with the bases loaded.
“He continues to amaze,” Freeman said of Acuna. “I don’t think we needed or wanted anybody else in that situation.”
Roberts stuck with Buehler, who allowed no baserunners in the next three innings.
“It was good to see him recalibrate and give us five innings to at some point save our pen,” Roberts said.
Buehler gave up five runs on only two hits and three walks in five innings.
“This one is on me,” Buehler said, adding there is “no excuse for the second inning. … Sometimes you just lose it. I’m proud of the way I found the zone again after that and moving forward.”
Freeman connected on the first pitch from former teammate Alex Wood to put Atlanta back on top.
“Hopefully we’ll have some more big moments during this post-season and this isn’t the only one,” Freeman said.
As seen on
CBC | Sports News