The showdown between baseball’s hottest teams is set, in no small part thanks to a big night from a player both teams in that showdown badly wanted in July.
That player is Manny Machado, who drove in four runs Monday to lift the Los Angeles Dodgers to a series-clinching 6-2 victory against the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers won the National League Division Series against the upstart Braves 3-1.
“It’s crazy,” Freese said. “You never know what this game is going to give you, what opportunities arise for you. You just gotta be ready. That’s what I’ve learned over the years. Whether you’re in high school, college, whatever, just be ready.
“You don’t have to be the best player in the world. You don’t have to make the most money, but you’re going to have a shot to do something cool. I learned that early in my career, and just try and stick with it.“cheap nike nfl jerseys china
When Freese made the “best player in the world” comment, he pointed towards Machado, who sat next to him at the podium. It was Machado who broke Monday’s game open. In the seventh, he launched a laser beam over the left-field bullpen off Braves rookie Chad Sobotka, a three-run shot that gave the Dodgers their final advantage.
Machado hit the ball hard all night. According to Statcast data, Machado authored the four hardest-hit balls of the night, with exit velocities of 104 mph or better in each of his first four plate appearances.
“I’ve been locked in all series,” Machado said. “The results haven’t shown, but you try to stick with the same approach and not try to change anything. I think you put yourself in bad situations when you try to change, and today I was just able to make hard contact and not miss two balls that were a big key to our win today.”
The young Braves battled, loading the bases with one out in the fifth, but Dodgers reliever Ryan Madson wriggled out of the jam by forcing a pair of popouts. That turned out to be the last gasp for a team that emerged as a budding powerhouse and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2013.cheap nfl nike jersey
“It was a great ride,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “[The season] surpassed everybody’s expectations. It’s sad. I mean, you know, we got this far, and after winning a game last night, kind of thought, well, maybe we can pull this off. But they never quit. They never stopped fighting all year. It was an unbelievable group to be around.”