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.
The Dodgers got off to a good start in the game, with Corey Seager's two-run blast in the first.
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.
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.
We've got ourselves a series, folks.
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:
A theme had emerged—the opportunities were there, but the Dodgers didn't capitalize. The season was on life support. And then Bellinger and Betts did what stars do—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.
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.
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.