NLCS Game 1 Recap: Dodgers Lose To Braves On Austin Riley’s Walk-Off Single
Austin Riley, 2021 NLCS
Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

With Max Scherzer not yet in position to make a full start, the Los Angeles Dodgers relied on a bullpen game that panned out relatively well but the offense failed to uphold their end in a 3-2 walk-off loss to the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.

Corey Knebel again wasn’t sharp in his role of opening a bullpen game, and it amounted to the Braves taking a 1-0 lead on a wild pitch.

The Dodgers wound up pulling even the next inning behind a two-out rally that started on AJ Pollock’s double. Chris Taylor then punished another hanging curveball from Max Fried for a game-tying RBI single.

L.A. took their first lead of the night in fourth inning on Will Smith’s leadoff home run. Smith became the first catcher in Dodgers franchise history with three homers in a single postseason.

After Phil Bickford and Justin Bruihl combined for 2.1 scoreless innings, Tony Gonsolin surrendered a game-tying solo home run to Austin Riley in the bottom of the fourth.

The Dodgers put the leadoff man on base in each of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but couldn’t reclaim a lead during that stretch. Their best opportunity came when Taylor started the seventh with a bloop double and was advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt.

Mookie Betts fouled out and Trea Turner went down swinging, dropping the Dodgers to 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Another opportunity for L.A. came to an end in the ninth when Taylor ran into an out. His walk kept the inning alive and was followed by Cody Bellinger looping a pinch-hit single into right field.

Taylor made an aggressive turn at third base before attempting to retreat and he ultimately got caught in a rundown.

Atlanta took advantage in the bottom of the ninth inning as Ozzie Albies reached on a blooper and promptly stole second base off Blake Treinen. Riley then delivered a walk-off single down the left-field line.

Dodgers turn to Scherzer

Now in need of a win to avoid falling into a 2-0 series deficit, the Dodgers hand the ball to Scherzer on Sunday.

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