NLCS Recap: Walker Buehler Shines, Dodgers Force Braves To Game 7

Walker Buehler lived up to his reputation and the Los Angeles Dodgers lived to fight another day by defeating the Atlanta Braves, 3-1, in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. They have battled back from a 3-1 series deficit to force a decided Game 7 on Sunday night.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ proclamation his team would be ready in a second opportunity to face Max Fried came true early as Corey Seager and Justin Turner combined for back-to-back solo home runs in the first inning.

The blast was Seager’s sixth of the postseason, the most ever by a Dodgers player.

Cody Bellinger added an RBI single before Fried could get through the opening frame. To his credit, Fried settled in to get through 6.2 innings without any more damage allowed.

That continued to keep pressure on Buehler, who found his most trouble against the middle of the Braves lineup.

A string of consecutive singles by Travis d’Arnaud, Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson loaded the bases with nobody out in the second inning. Buehler worked his way out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts and a grounder.

By throwing only eight pitches in the first inning, his pitch count was still manageable and allowed him to provide the Dodgers with needed length. The Braves threatened again when d’Arnaud and Swanson each hit a single to put two on with one out in the fourth inning.

Buehler escaped that jam as well and went on to get through six scoreless innings. Mookie Betts provided some defensive help in the fifth with a leaping catch at the wall to rob Marcell Ozuna of an extra-base hit and RBI.

Buehler then got a bit of a gift in the sixth when Albies hit a roller up the first-base line but was not aware the ball popped out of Max Muncy’s glove on his tag attempt. Buehler corralled it and tagged Albies as he began to turn toward the dugout.

That helped minimize the threat when Swanson hit a third single off his former teammate, stole second base and advanced to third on the bad throw before Buehler could get through the inning. The Braves collected seven hits against Buehler, who succeeded in reducing his walks by not issuing any.

Going to the bullpen saw the Braves greet Blake Treinen with a triple and RBI double, cutting into the Dodgers’ lead and bringing the tying run to the plate. Treinen kept them at bay after that, striking out Freddie Freeman and retiring Ozuna.

Roberts then turned to Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen for the final six outs, and the right-handers combined for two perfect innings to wrap up the win.

NLCS Game 7 start time

The Dodgers have willed themselves back into the series and now sit just one win away from reaching the World Series for a third time in the past four years. First pitch for Game 7 of the NLCS is set for 5:15 p.m. PT on Sunday.

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