ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman isn’t afraid to confess he was rooting for a rematch with the Dodgers within the NLCS.
Part of it was personal for the Braves’ All-Star first baseman. If the Dodgers beat the Giants to advance from the last spherical, Game 1 of the NLCS can be performed at Truist Park, permitting Freeman to remain house and watch his younger son, Charlie, play baseball this weekend. If the Dodgers lost, the Braves have been headed to San Francisco.
But then there was the revenge issue of wanting one other crack on the workforce that ended the Braves’ season last October earlier than successful the World Series. The Braves have been forward 3-1 within the collection — performed in Arlington, Texas to attenuate journey in the course of the pandemic — however by no means delivered the knockout punch and lost a good Game 7 of the NLCS to the Dodgers.
“You always want a rematch of last year,” Freeman mentioned Friday. “Now you want to beat the best and they are obviously the defending champs, and they have got a great team, so it’s going to be a good test for us.”
The Dodgers bought to Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night time, with a dramatic 2-1 victory in Game 5 of the NLDS in San Francisco. The Giants left the tying run on base within the ninth inning as Wilmer Flores struck out towards Max Scherzer on a flubbed strike three name on a checked swing. It’s anticipated Scherzer will return because the Game 1 starter.
The Braves, who’re scheduled to ship left-hander Max Fried to the mound, obtained two further days of relaxation after ending off the Brewers in Game 4 of the NLDS on Tuesday.
“We’re very familiar with [the Dodgers] and understand how deep they are, how strong they are — they’re relentless,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker mentioned. “Offensively these guys just, the at-bats they put up are something else. They just keep coming after you. Their pitching is so deep and it’s a really good club, obviously. So are we.”
It’s a Braves workforce that overcame the lack of Ronald Acuña Jr. to a torn anterior cruciate ligament and rallied within the second half of the season after a sluggish begin. The Braves went 44-28 after the All-Star break to simply overtake the wilting Mets and to win a fourth straight NL East title.
In the NLDS, the Braves used robust beginning pitching to overhaul the NL Central champions. The Brewers have been shut out in consecutive video games within the collection, together with Game 2 — during which Fried fired six scoreless innings.
“[The Dodgers] just played a really good series against a really good team and they have been playing some really good intense baseball, so they’re going to be ready for the atmosphere,” Fried mentioned. “And clearly the workforce’s been to the playoffs for nonetheless many straight years, a number of World Series, so the stage isn’t going to faze them.
“They know what they need to do to be able to win these types of games and obviously we’ve been in the playoffs for a couple years now and we understand what it takes too, so I think it’s going to be a really good hard-fought series.”
Freeman might need needed to face Los Angeles, however Fried — who like Freeman grew up in Southern California rooting for the Dodgers — mentioned the opponent for this NLCS was inconsequential for him.
“I think we would have been just as motivated if it was the Giants or the Dodgers,” Fried mentioned. “I feel while you get up to now of the year each workforce has one aim and that’s to get to the World Series and win it.
“You’re not going to be able to get there unless you get through this round. So we don’t want to look too far ahead, just focus on Game 1, and then obviously each game after that.”