Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger Fuel Dodgers Rally in Stunning Game 3 Win over Braves

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVOctober 20, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19:  Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts as he rounds the bases after hitting a 3-run home run during the 8th inning of Game 3 of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on October 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Some players just seem to be born for October baseball. Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts are two of them.

The pair spearheaded a huge eighth-inning rally in Game 3 of the NLCS, helping the Dodgers secure a crucial 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. Bellinger's three-run homer and Betts' RBI double erased a three-run deficit and helped the Dodgers avoid a 3-0 hole in the series. 


OCTOBER HERO CODY BELLINGER<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/Dodgers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Dodgers</a>) <a href="https://t.co/YP0KDBmedv">pic.twitter.com/YP0KDBmedv</a>


Mookie Magic once again! <a href="https://t.co/dFIS1hlea6">pic.twitter.com/dFIS1hlea6</a>

The Dodgers got off to a good start in the game, with Corey Seager's two-run blast in the first.


Start'em off Seager!!<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/Dodgers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Dodgers</a>) <a href="https://t.co/CnTz5VQnR4">pic.twitter.com/CnTz5VQnR4</a>

But Charlie Morton escaped a bases-loaded jam after walking three straight batters, minimizing the early damage.

That looked as though it might be huge. The Braves responded with a four-run outburst in the top of the fourth, aided by a few fielding blunders from the Dodgers and some control issues from Walker Buehler. 


Back-to-back hits and the <a href="https://twitter.com/Braves?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Braves</a> ties it up. ๐Ÿ‘€ <a href="https://t.co/j9SQVaDomq">pic.twitter.com/j9SQVaDomq</a>


Dansby gets it done.<br><br>Atlanta takes the lead. <a href="https://t.co/yzOffxdrjb">pic.twitter.com/yzOffxdrjb</a>

The Braves were cruising with a three-run lead entering the eighth inning and were about to be one game away from securing their first National League pennant since 1999. 

Enter Bellinger. Enter Betts. 

Sarah Langs @SlangsOnSports

That's Cody Bellinger's 4th career game-tying or go-ahead hit in the 8th inning or later of a postseason game, tied for 5th-most in postseason history, behind only:<br><br>Bernie Williams: 6<br>Pete Rose: 6<br>David Ortiz: 5<br>J.D. Drew: 5

Jorge Castillo @jorgecastillo

Bellinger had trouble catching up to velocity all season. That pitch was a 96 mph fastball up and out of the strike zone. Not a bad pitch. Bellinger was just ready for it. This place is still shaking.

Jim Rome @jimrome

Mookie Betts if you need him. No one better

Seth Emerson @SethWEmerson

"OK let's just pitch to Mookie Betts with two bases open what could possibly go - "

We've got ourselves a series, folks. 

Key Stats

Cody Bellinger, LAD: 1-for-3, one homer, three RBI

Corey Seager, LAD: 1-for-4, one homer, two RBI

Mookie Betts, LAD: 2-for-3, two walks, one run, one RBI

Charlie Morton, ATL: Five innings, three hits allowed, six walks, two runs

Adam Duvall, ATL: 2-for-5, two RBI

Joc Pederson, ATL: 2-for-4, one run, one RBI

The Dodgers Need Their Bats To Wake Up

In Games 1 and 2, the Dodgers were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position, stranding 17. The bats were silent for much of Game 3, and the obituaries were being written:

Mike Petriello @mike_petriello

I feel like if the Dodgers lose this series, there's going to be about 1000x more focus on "Dave Roberts' pitching decisions" than on "the offense forgot how to hit baseballs hard or drive in runners," and that is going to be backwards

Blake Harris @BlakeHarrisTBLA

Yet again, feels like the Dodgers should have more than only 2 runs

Andy McCullough @ByMcCullough

The Dodgers had a chance to send Charlie Morton to the showers in the first inning. The lineup let him off the hook. Now they're in serious trouble.

Michael Baumann @MichaelBaumann

I know I published a big thing about the Dodgers' pitching usage but they haven't allowed more than five runs in a game since Oct. 1. It's just not as tactically interesting to say they forgot how to hit.

A theme had emergedโ€”the opportunities were there, but the Dodgers didn't capitalize. The season was on life support. And then Bellinger and Betts did what stars doโ€”they produced. And it couldn't have come at a better time for the Dodgers. 

A 2-1 deficit is far more manageable than 3-0. The Dodgers just need those bats to stay hot. 

Atlanta's Bullpen Finally Cracked

Through two games and seven innings, Atlanta's relievers gave up just two runs on four hits. They largely neutralized one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball. 

But Luke Jackson ended that hot streak, giving up four runs on four hits in just 0.1 innings of work in the eighth on Tuesday. 

Maria Martin @Ria_Martin

Luke Jackson tonight, 4 H. 4R.<br>Luke Jackson dating back to late September 5 H, 1 R. <br>Bad night to have a bad night.

Andrew Mason @MaseDenver

Itโ€™s Luke Jackson. He never looks comfortable. Even when heโ€™s doing well, heโ€™s teetering on the brink. AND WHY IN GODโ€™S NAME IS SNITKER LEAVING HIM OUT THERE??? <a href="https://t.co/m6ywWsT7nV">https://t.co/m6ywWsT7nV</a>

Atlanta's bullpen, like the rest of the team in an injury-riddled season, had been on something of a magical run of late. At least some of that magic ran out on Tuesday. 

What's Next?

Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:08 p.m. ET in Los Angeles (TBS). Julio Urias is scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers, with Atlanta's starter yet to be named. 


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