LA Dodgers will return to World Series for their third appearance in four years. Dodgers secured their spot by beating Atlanta Braves 4-3 in the deciding NLCS Game 7 on Sunday night and capping off an unlikely comeback after being down 1-3 in the series.
It didn’t start well for the Dodgers, as they found themselves trailing 0-2 after Marcell Ozuna and Dansby Swanson hit home runs for Braves in the first two innings. Will Smith’s two-run single equaled the game in the third, but Atlanta immediately took the lead back with Austin Riley’s single.
Still, Brave couldn’t hold on to the lead that would bring the franchise its first World Series appearance since 1999.
Enrique Hernandez hit a pinch-hit homer in the sixth to tie it once again, while 2019’s NL MVP Cody Bellinger completed the comeback in the seventh inning with another lights-out home run.
“We never gave up,” said MVP of the series Corey Seager. “This team never quit. We came out every night and expected to win. Tip your cap to that clubhouse and how we responded, how we came back. We always found the energy, found the big play, found the big spark. Whether it was defensively, offensively, pitching, we grinded through that series. It was a lot of fun to be on top of that one.”
The LA Dodgers will now face the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series in an attempt to win their first title in 33 years. Dodgers got close in 2018 and 2019 but got beaten by Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox, respectively.
“The World Series is the World Series, no matter what year you get there—’17 happened, ’18 happened. We fell short; now we are back,” added Enrique Hernandez. “The past is in the past—this one feels super special because it is in front of us, and it is happening.”
Dodgers were the best team in baseball in the regular season, finishing with a 43-17 record. And they managed to translate their claim in the postseason so far, but it won’t count for anything if they can’t deliver in the World Series.
The World Series, which will see Dodgers face Tampa Bay Rays, kicks off on October 20 at Arlington’s Globe Life Field.