ARLINGTON, Texas – One night after a record, the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to collect more than one shot against a rookie in seven career starts, and are now on the verge of rebounding from the National League Championship Series.
Bryza Wilson, the Atlanta Braves, who hadn̵7;t played a pitch in almost three weeks, threw six innings with one shot and kept the advantage his offense provided to shaky Clayton Kershaw in a 10-2 win Thursday at Globe Life Field. Atlanta leads the series 3-1 and will have three chances to secure its first berth of the World Series since 1999.
The powerful 22-year-old right-hander with a lineback – and mentality – Wilson previously played on September 27, the final game of the regular season of the Braves, and until Wednesday was not even named the starting player of Atlanta. All night he challenged the Dodgers with a variety of fast balls, and sometimes he was helped by the winds that spread throughout the stadium, which had an open sliding roof. In addition to Edwin Rios’ second home run, the Dodgers – who scored 11 in the first inning of Game 3, setting a post-season record in one-shot runs – suffered from the same magically disappearing offense against Wilson that haunted them in Games 1 and 2.
Wilson knocked out five and went through one for an effective six innings that took up only 74 pitches, most of them four-seam fast balls, as well as cutters and sinkers moving in opposite directions. Manager Brian Snitker drew him to seventh, due to his lack of activity and perfection of the bullpen. The Dodgers only managed three shots in the game, and losing in Game 4 allows the Brave to keep their two best starters, Max Fried and Ian Anderson, on full rest for potential Games 6 and 7.
“Wow. That’s almost all I can say,” said Snitker, who came into the game hoping Wilson would withstand at least four innings. “This baby got stronger. … The baby didn’t do it for three weeks. It was just an incredible job.”
Kershaw, who missed the scheduled start of Game 2 due to back cramps, outscored Wilson before Marcell Ozuna brought him home in the fourth. Two submissions later that night, Kershaw hurriedly fell apart. Ronald Akuna Jr. knocked out the inner single, Freddie Freeman broke the RBI double, and Ozuna chased Kershaw with another backup. He started with the other two to draw the Kershaw line and the scoreboard ugly. The brave took the lead with a score of 6: 1, and Kershaw came out with another bad result in the playoffs: five innings, seven hits, four runs, one walk, four shots.
“Being able to do this as well-established as Clayton Kershaw is a great honor to be able to speak out against him,” Wilson said.
Taken in the fourth round in 2016, Wilson was relegated to the major leagues in two years, although, with a variety of Atlanta’s young forces, he has yet to secure a place in the Braves rotation. After Cole Hemels pulled him off his shoulder at the end of the season, Wilson began five innings with the Miami Marlins on Sept. 22, leading to the NL East and helping secure the Braves first place in the NL playoffs. In this game, he said, “I was able to establish a huge level of confidence that I didn’t think I had before. That’s why I was able to do what I did tonight.”
The Atlanta World Series drought, which has lasted more than two decades, comes after a period when it played in five of the eight World Series, winning only one, against Cleveland in 1995. The revival of the “Brave”, fueled by the core of home-grown talents, reaches its highest level at this time in the postseason, during which they are 8-1. Acuna, Freeman and Ozzie Albies, all signed and developed by Braves, had two hits in Game 4 and Braves 14.
The Dodgers’ only meeting took place in the seventh mystery, when they fell behind 7-2 and loaded the bases. Pinch striker Will Smith hit the center in the center, but Albis was moved to the perfect position, and he did not need to move to hook the linear drive. Tyler Matzek and Shane Green have kept the Dodgers to no avail for the last two innings to put them on the verge of retirement.
They will return with a heavy throw to Dustin May in Game 5 on Friday against what appears to be a bullpen game from Atlanta, which could involve Kyle Wright, whom the Dodgers chased during the first inning of their outbreak on Wednesday. Game 6 will feature Fried vs. Walker Buhler and Game 7 against Anderson vs. Tony Gonsolin, although both teams are likely to use an “all hands on deck” approach – one that could indicate that Wilson will return for a short break.