NLDS-Braves Game-2 Comeback, D-Backs Down Dodgers
ATLANTA -- A historic and improbable double play sparked by Michael Harris II capped the Braves' dramatic series-tying comeback in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Monday night against the Phillies.
Having rallied from a four-run deficit, the Braves were clinging to a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning with Bryce Harper on first base and Nick Castellanos up to bat with one out. Castellanos hit a fly ball to deep right-center field that would have been a home run in five major league ballparks
Harris, though, read it quickly, telling reporters after the game: "I knew off the bat it was going to be close to the fence, so I knew once I went back, I wasn't stopping. I was going to do anything I could to get a glove on it."
Harris leaped to catch it, hitting the outfield wall, then immediately set his feet to relay the ball back to the infield toward second base. As Harris caught the ball, Harper was about five steps past second base.
That wasn't by design. Riley scooped the ball backhanded and threw it to first in one motion, like fielding a slow roller at third base. That ended the game, completing the first 8-5-3 double play in MLB postseason history and the first double play ever involving an outfielder to end a postseason game.
The series now heads to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.
The Phillies will start Aaron Nola on Wednesday. Manager Brian Snitker said he'll likely reveal the Braves' Game 3 starter Tuesday.
LOS ANGELES -- It was all too familiar, both because of the reputation of this era's Los Angeles Dodgers and the way this year's National League Division Series has played out. For a second straight game, the Dodgers, a 100-win team that surged through most of the summer, saw their starting pitcher fall flat and their offense waste what little opportunities they had to make up for it. They lost once again to a young, scrappy Arizona Diamondbacks team that compiled 16 fewer regular-season victories, this time by a 4-2 score.
Sixteen-year veteran Clayton Kershaw allowed six runs and recorded only one out to begin Saturday's game, and 24-year-old rookie Bobby Miller allowed three runs before getting pulled in the second inning two nights later, throwing only 28 of his 52 pitches for strikes.
The Dodgers' bullpen kept the game reasonably close, but their high-powered offense once again struggled against an opposing starter they previously had their way against.
The D-backs, coming off an impressive sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers in their wild-card series, are the third team in major league history to take a 2-0 series lead against an opponent that won at least 15 more regular-season games, with one of the others being the Atlanta Braves over the Dodgers in the 2021 NL Championship Series.
Road teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-five series have advanced 90% of the time. The only three teams to overcome such a deficit were the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015, the San Francisco Giants in 2012, and the New York Yankees in 2001.
Most Valuable Franchises in American Sports
Gallery Credit: Scott Prather
LOOK: 30 Best Major League Baseball Home Run Celebrations Using Props
Gallery Credit: Rob Carroll