With how good the Dodgers lineup is, you would expect Bryse Wilson to suffer a fate more similar to Kyle Wright’s performance the night before than the performances of our top two guys. Instead, Bryse Wilson pitched the game of his 22-year-old life. He delivered the best performance of his career, better than his previous best, 6 strong innings against the Phillies on July 3rd, 2019.
And this wasn’t a cheap outing that doesn’t stand up to watching it live. Wilson was in command the entire night. His 95mph fastball was popping and located perfectly from the first batter of the game. He located his offspeed stuff. He got behind very rarely. The line is almost NSFW: 6 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 R, 5K. For a team coming off a humiliating, bullpen-taxing loss the night before and a bullpen game coming up, this was just what the Braves needed. He only threw 74 pitches. He’ll be rested for Game 1. :)
The final score may not show it, but this game was a nail-biter for the majority of the night. Clayton Kershaw matched Wilson through 5 innings. But things erupted for the good guys in the 6th: single, double, double, line out, single, double, single, walk, single, strike out, groundout. Yes, they scored 6 runs without the aid of a home run. Through 6 innings, they had seen 124 pitches, which is one of the few ways these Braves can create a clear advantage over the Dodgers. Make their bullpen work harder.
As exciting as the 6th inning was, the 7th was as well, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Will Smith had nothing, and left having given up 3 baserunners and only getting one out. Chris Martin was not much better, but he was able to mitigate the damage and get out of a bases loaded jam with only one run scoring. Marcell Ozuna got the run right back leading off the bottom of the 7th with his second home run of the night. Tyler Matzek handled the 8th inning with relative ease, and Shane Greene continues to look like he’s rounding into form with a perfect 9th.
The Braves are now up 3-1. One win away from their first World Series appearance since Bill Clinton was in the White House. We have a bullpen game tomorrow with the official starter yet to be announced. The Dodgers will have to beat us tomorrow, then beat Max Fried, and then beat Ian Anderson. Friends, I’m confident your Braves won’t let them do that.