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NLCS: Austin Riley and Atlanta Beat Dodgers With Game 1 Walk-Off

  • October 17, 2021

It was Los Angeles’s turn for a lead to vanish fast. With one out in the fourth, Tony Gonsolin entered as the Dodgers’ fourth pitcher of the evening. He got the inning’s second out with a fly ball from Albies. Riley, Atlanta’s cleanup hitter, lurked around the on-deck circle, though. As he walked to the plate, a smattering of chanters demanded that he win the league’s Most Valuable Player Award.

Riley missed a slider. He took another, that one at the same speed, 87 miles an hour, as the first but just a bit farther off the plate. A fastball came next, followed by a crack, a rising roar and a solo home run to left.

The scoreboard toggling stopped, the latest tie stretching half of the game.

The Atlanta lineup in the ninth inning, though, promised perils. There was Freddie Freeman, the first baseman whose eighth-inning home run on Tuesday gave Atlanta just enough to beat the Brewers in Game 4 of their division series. He found no such magic on Saturday, when he became the last of 14 Atlanta strikeouts.

Albies, who levitated in the sixth inning for a catch to extinguish one of Los Angeles’s most menacing scoring opportunities, swung at the first pitch he saw from Treinen. The ball lobbed toward the outfield, near the etching in the grass honoring the Atlanta slugger Hank Aaron, who died in January.

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