ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman isn’t afraid to confess he was rooting for a rematch with the Dodgers within the NLCS.
A part of it was private for the Braves’ All-Star first baseman. If the Dodgers beat the Giants to advance from the final spherical, Recreation 1 of the NLCS can be performed at Truist Park, permitting Freeman to remain house and watch his younger son, Charlie, play baseball this weekend. If the Dodgers misplaced, the Braves have been headed to San Francisco.
However then there was the revenge issue of wanting one other crack on the staff that ended the Braves’ season final October earlier than successful the World Sequence. The Braves have been forward 3-1 within the sequence — performed in Arlington, Texas to attenuate journey through the pandemic — however by no means delivered the knockout punch and misplaced a decent Recreation 7 of the NLCS to the Dodgers.
“You at all times desire a rematch of final 12 months,” Freeman mentioned Friday. “Now you wish to beat the perfect and they’re clearly the defending champs, and they’ve an ideal staff, so it’s going to be take a look at for us.”
The Dodgers bought to Recreation 1 of the NLCS on Saturday evening, with a dramatic 2-1 victory in Recreation 5 of the NLDS in San Francisco. The Giants left the tying run on base within the ninth inning as Wilmer Flores struck out in opposition to Max Scherzer on a flubbed strike three call on a checked swing. It’s anticipated Scherzer will return because the Recreation 1 starter.
The Braves, who’re scheduled to ship left-hander Max Fried to the mound, obtained two further days of relaxation after ending off the Brewers in Recreation 4 of the NLDS on Tuesday.
“We’re very conversant in [the Dodgers] and perceive how deep they’re, how sturdy they’re — they’re relentless,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker mentioned. “Offensively these guys simply, the at-bats they put up are one thing else. They simply hold coming after you. Their pitching is so deep and it’s a very good membership, clearly. So are we.”
It’s a Braves staff that overcame the lack of Ronald Acuña Jr. to a torn anterior cruciate ligament and rallied within the second half of the season after a sluggish begin. The Braves went 44-28 after the All-Star break to simply overtake the wilting Mets and to win a fourth straight NL East title.
Within the NLDS, the Braves used sturdy beginning pitching to overhaul the NL Central champions. The Brewers have been shut out in consecutive video games within the sequence, together with Recreation 2 — wherein Fried fired six scoreless innings.
“[The Dodgers] simply performed a very good sequence in opposition to a very good staff and so they have been taking part in some actually good intense baseball, in order that they’re going to be prepared for the ambiance,” Fried mentioned. “And clearly the staff’s been to the playoffs for nevertheless many straight years, a number of World Sequence, so the stage isn’t going to faze them.
“They know what they should do to have the ability to win a lot of these video games and clearly we’ve been within the playoffs for a pair years now and we perceive what it takes too, so I believe it’s going to be a very good hard-fought sequence.”
Freeman may need wished to face Los Angeles, however Fried — who like Freeman grew up in Southern California rooting for the Dodgers — mentioned the opponent for this NLCS was inconsequential for him.
“I believe we might have been simply as motivated if it was the Giants or the Dodgers,” Fried mentioned. “I believe if you get so far of the 12 months each staff has one purpose and that’s to get to the World Sequence and win it.
“You’re not going to have the ability to get there until you get by means of this spherical. So we don’t wish to look too far forward, simply give attention to Recreation 1, after which clearly every sport after that.”