It took four games, but the Los Angeles Dodgers eliminated the Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series by defeating them 6-2 on Monday afternoon at SunTrust Park.
Veteran David Freese came up with a big hit to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning, but shortstop Manny Machado also had a strong day at the plate.
Machado drove in the team’s first run of the game with an RBI double in the first inning. He then provided some big insurance in the seventh inning when he launched a three-run home run to left field, his second of the series.
Coming up big for the Dodgers team to help them clinch a third straight NL Championship Series appearance is something that Machado thoroughly enjoyed, via A.J. Casavell of MLB.com:
“There’s not a better feeling,” Machado said of the home run. “I didn’t feel anything. I knew I hit it, I knew it was out. There’s just not a better feeling than that.”
Machado only went 3-for-17 in the series (.176 batting average), but he did hit the two home runs and led the team with six RBI, and is pleased with where he is at in the batter’s box right now:
“I’ve been locked in all series,” Machado said. “Obviously the results haven’t shown, but you try to stick with the same approach and not try to change anything. I think you put yourself in bad situations when you try to change. Today, I was just able to make hard contact and not miss two balls that were a big key to our win today.”
Machado has the reputation of being one of the bright young players in the sport today, although he certainly has had his ups and downs since being traded to the Dodgers.
He hit four balls 100 mph or faster in Monday’s game though, so if he can carry that production into the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers, then the Dodgers are in a good spot to return to the World Series for a second straight year.
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