Game one of the NLDS was discouraging for the Braves. The bats didn’t get hot and Medlen didn’t toss his trademark gem. But even after dropping game one to the Dodgers, Atlanta was ready to fire back to tie up the series.
In last night’s 4-3 contest between the two squads, Atlanta successfully brought the series to 1-1. Atlanta’s young arm Mike Minor took the mound, going 6.1 innings while allowing eight hits, one earned run and striking out five. It was Minor’s first appearance in the postseason, and he showed no signs of nerves. He was lights out and exited to a very long standing ovation.
Though Zack Greinke, starting pitcher for the Dodgers also pitched well, going six innings with four hits and two runs, it wasn’t enough to silence the Braves bats.
The Dodgers tried a comeback with a two run home run off the arm of David Carpenter, bringing the game to just a one run differential. But in the eighth inning with two outs, out came Atlanta’s closer Craig Kimbrel to attempt a four out save. Kimbrel saved 50 games in the 2013 regular season, which tied him for best in MLB.
Kimbrel came on the mound hot, instantly throwing in the high 90s and frequently touching 100mph. Though he did allow two walks, Kimbrel kept the hits to zero and struck out two. He showed the same dominance in the NLDS as he had on the past three regular seasons, and should he stay at the top of his game, will be a crucial part of the Braves’ staff throughout the postseason.