As we head into game 3 of the 2018 NLDS between the Dodgers and the Braves at Sun Trust Park this evening, I’m reminded of the 2013 Dodgers. I was watching timeless Dodgers on sportsnetla and they were replaying that famous game 4 of the 2013 NLDS between the Dodgers and the Braves. Who could forget that game? The Dodgers had a 2-1 series lead and were fighting and clawing not to have to fly back to Atlanta, and the Braves were trying all they could to force a game 5.
Most of those players are all gone by now. A few still remain. A fresh faced Yasiel Puig, a young Kenley Jansen. Clayton Kershaw of course, and an injured Matt Kemp sat on the sideline. That was the game that Juan Uribe bashed a two-run home run into the Atlanta bullpen to give the Dodgers a one-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel could only watch as he never got into the game.
That Atlanta squad was starkly different that this rookie ass team this season. That 2013 Braves team was a club full of grizzled veterans. They gave the Dodgers a fight and when they were eliminated you could see the look on their faces that they were crushed. I remember Freddy Garcia nearly matching Clayton Kershaw pitch for pitch. A far contrast from this year’s version of the Braves.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 7, 2018
This year’s Atlanta Braves team enters today trailing the Dodgers two games to none in this best of five series. The Dodgers are just one win away from sweeping the Braves out of the playoffs and returning to the NLCS, and they have Walker Buehler on the mound. The Braves will give the ball to Sean Newcombe, the guy that nearly no-hit the Dodgers back in July.
This Braves team hasn’t put up much of a fight. The Dodgers have shutout the Braves in the first two games by a combined score of 9-0. With Buehler on the mound for game 3, they have a great chance of blanking Atlanta for the entire series. But let’s remember how different this Atlanta team is from that 2013 club that gave the Dodgers much more of a fight. Experience counts for something. But what a difference five years makes.