THE ATLANTA Braves put THE LOS ANGELES Dodgers in a familiar 3-1 hole, as Eddie Rosario leads NLCS Game 4 blowout

THE ATLANTA Braves put THE LOS ANGELES Dodgers in a familiar 3-1 hole, as Eddie Rosario leads NLCS Game 4 blowout

Eddie Rosario’s 4-hit, 2-homer night gives Atlanta Braves 3-1 lead over Los Angeles Dodgers in NLCS

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There’s hot, there is sizzling and then there is the BravesEddie Rosario.

Rosario banged out four hits in a game for the second time in the National League Championship Series and tied a Braves postseason record with 12 total bases, leading Atlanta to a 9-2 win over the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. With the victory, the Braves seized a commanding 3-1 series lead over Los Angeles and can clinch their first pennant since 1999 with a win at Dodger Stadium in Game 5 on Thursday.

“This whole postseason he’s been pretty much unbelievable,” said Braves leader Freddie Freeman, who homered, doubled, walked and got overshadowed by Rosario’s spree.

Rosario fell a double short of becoming the second player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game, but only because his bat is almost too hot. With a homer, triple and single already in the books, Rosario cleared the fence with a drive to right in the ninth inning for his second homer of the game, a three-run shot that capped a four-run Atlanta rally that broke open the game.

“It’s postseason, no matter what, the cycle, I want to try to help the team to win,” Rosario said. “Three RBI is better than hitting a double.”

On Sept. 19, Rosario hit for the cycle against the San Francisco Giants, needing just five pitches to do so. That kicked off a hot streak that has continued right on into the highest-stakes games of his career. Beginning with that game, Rosario has hit .354 with five homers over a 22-game span. And when his bat is referred to as being hot, it’s just that — one particular hot bat. Rosario said he has been using the same stick with which he hit for the cycle.

“I’ve been using that bat that I hit for the cycle with and it has not disappointed,” Rosario said. “I had that double remaining, and I’m like, man, this bat has not let me down yet.”

During the NLCS, Rosario has hit .588 with a pair of four-hit games. He’s the first player to have a pair of four-hit games in the same LCS. Only Hall of Famer Robin Yount, who did it in the 1982 World Series, has done it in any postseason series.

Not bad for a player who was non-tendered by the Minnesota Twins last fall, didn’t latch on to a new team until February, struggled during a half-season with the Cleveland Indians and then was dealt away at the trade deadline.

“I came here and I wanted to show my name, showcase my talents and prove to the people the kind of ballplayer that I am,” Rosario said. “I feel like I had success in Minnesota and I struggled a little bit in Cleveland, so when I came over here I definitely wanted to make sure that I showcased my talents appropriately.”

As postgame questioners were all too willing to remind the Braves after Wednesday’s game, Atlanta also held a 3-1 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS last season, only to drop three straight to L.A. and finish one game short of snapping the franchise’s pennant drought. But with every question asked in that vein, the Braves have had a pretty simple response: This is a different team and a different year.

“[It is] 2021,” Freeman said. “2020 was last year. This is a whole different team, a whole different thing. So if anybody’s thinking about 2020, I think everybody wants to be in a 3-1 lead, so we’ll take it.”

The different team part has been on full display against the Dodgers. Rosario and two other in-season outfield acquisitions — Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall — have led the Braves’ offense this series. The trio has combined to hit .404 with four homers and 14 RBIs against L.A. Everyone else has hit .225 with two homers and seven RBIs.

Atlanta still has to take that final step, but things could hardly line up better for the Braves than on Thursday. That’s because baseball’s hottest hurler, Max Fried, will take the mound, while the Dodgers will go with a bullpen game to save their season. Fried, who hails from southern California and grew up a Dodgers fan, has a shot to close the door on his boyhood club.

“What he’s done in the second half and pretty much over the whole course of the season, after the first couple weeks, every time you see No. 54 on that mound you got a real good feeling,” Freeman said.

If Freeman’s feelings are prescient, the Braves will be headed back to the World Series for the first time this century.

“I was very young when they went, the last time they went,” Freeman said. “So we got a good team and we’re playing really good baseball and hopefully we can take this thing home and get to the World Series.”

Eddie Rosario

Eddie Rosario
Eddie Rosario (26149847862).jpg
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Rosario with the Minnesota Twins in 2016
Atlanta Braves – No. 8
Left fielder
Born: September 28, 1991 (age 30)
Guayama, Puerto Rico
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB debut
May 6, 2015, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
(through 2021 season)
Batting average .275
Home runs 133
Runs batted in 450
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Medals
Men’s baseball
Representing
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Puerto Rico
World Baseball Classic
Silver medal – second place
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2013 San Francisco Team
Silver medal – second place
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2017 Los Angeles Team

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@EddieRosario09

Eddie Manuel Rosario (born September 28, 1991) is a Puerto Rican professional baseball left fielder for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has also played in MLB for the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. He represented Puerto Rico in the 2013 and 2017 editions of the World Baseball Classic, winning a silver medal in both.

After the 2013 season, Rosario received a 50-game suspension for using a banned substance, which he served at the start of the 2014 season. Rosario made his major league debut in 2015, and hit a home run in his first at bat, on the first pitch, off of Scott Kazmir of the Oakland Athletics.

Professional career

Minnesota Twins

Rosario made his major league debut on May 6, 2015. Leading off the bottom of the 3rd inning, Rosario swung at the first pitch he saw from Oakland Athletics starter Scott Kazmir, and hit an opposite-field home run, becoming the 115th player in major league history to hit a home run in his first at-bat.  Rosario played in 122 games for the Twins, sharing outfield duties with Torii Hunter, Aaron Hicks, and fellow prospect Byron Buxton. Despite being called up a month into the season, Rosario led all of baseball in triples with 15, and was second in outfield assists with 16, just one behind Avisail García of the Chicago White Sox. Rosario finished his rookie campaign with a .267 batting average and 13 home runs.

With the retirement of Torii Hunter and the Twins’ trade of Aaron Hicks, Rosario entered 2016 as the Twins’ projected everyday left fielder.  After a slow start and the emergence of both Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler, Rosario saw his playing time dwindle ultimately leading to his demotion to Triple-A.  He was brought back up towards the end of the season, and finished the year with a .269 batting average, 10 home runs, and 32 RBI in 92 games played.  In 2017, Rosario became the Twins’ everyday left fielder and emerged into one of the AL’s best hitters. On June 13 he had his first career 3 home run game going 4-5 and driving in 5 runs. Later in the season he won his first Player of the Week for the week of August 13, going .444/.484/1.000 with 4 home runs. He ranked in the top 25 for batting average, OPS, slugging, and doubles. In 151 games he batted .290 with 27 home runs and 78 RBI.

On April 18, 2018, before a sold-out crowd at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium in his homeland Puerto Rico, Rosario scored the winning run in the bottom of the 16th inning, coming around on Ryan LaMarre’s single that gave Minnesota a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians. Rosario had a 3 home run game for the second time in his career on June 3 against the Cleveland Indians, going 3-5 driving in 4 runs while hitting the game winning walk-off home run. He finished the season with the lowest fielding percentage among major league left fielders, at .967, and batted .288 with 24 home runs, 77 RBI, and a career high 161 hits in 138 games. Rosario was considered an All-Star “snub” in 2018. In 2019 he batted .276/.300/.500. He swung at the highest percentage of all pitches of all American League batters (59.1%). In 57 games in 2020, he batted .257 with 13 home runs and led the team with 42 RBI. On December 1, 2020, Rosario was placed on outright waivers and cleared waivers the next day.  On December 2, Rosario was non-tendered by the Twins.

Cleveland Indians

On February 4, 2021, Rosario was signed to a one-year, $8 million contract with the Cleveland Indians.

Atlanta Braves

On July 30, 2021, Rosario was traded to the Atlanta Braves along with cash considerations in exchange for Pablo Sandoval. On September 19, Rosario hit for the cycle against the San Francisco Giants. In four at-bats, Rosario saw five pitches, the fewest pitches seen in a cycle since at least the 1990 season. In 2021, between both team he batted .259/.305/.435 with 14 home runs and 62 RBIs.

On October 17, Rosario recorded four hits, including a walk-off single, in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series that gave the Braves a 5–4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 2021 Braves became the fourth team in Major League Baseball history to record two walk-off wins in the first two games of a postseason series, as Rosario matched the feat of teammate Austin Riley, who hit a walk-off single in Game 1. Rosario recorded two home runs and a triple as part of a second four-hit game in Game 4 of the series, following Steve Garvey as the only players to record those base hits in the postseason. Rosario was the fifth major league player to record two four-hit games during the playoffs, and the second to have both four-hit games occur in the same series. Teammate Adam Duvall followed Rosario’s first home run of the game with a home run of his own, and they became the third pair of Braves teammates to hit consecutive home runs during a postseason game.

International career

World Baseball Classic (Puerto Rico)

Eddie Rosario played for Puerto Rico in their silver medal run of the 2013 World Baseball Classic and their silver medal run of the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He played right field defensively and batted 7th in the lineup.

Personal life

His parents are Eddie Sr. and Maria. He is married to Milany, with whom he has three children: Mileiddy, Raydieliz, and Lucas.

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One year after their NLCS collapse created another bleak chapter in the history of Atlanta sports, the Braves have attained another 3-1 lead over the same opponent, the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Braves got there by defeating the Dodgers 9-2 in Game 4 on Wednesday.The Dodgers had appeared to be in strong position to even the series after their wild comeback in Game 3, starting playoff stalwart Julio Urías against a bullpen game for Atlanta. The Braves’ chances diminished even more when opener Huascar Ynoa was scratched.Reliever Jesse Chavez, who had pitched two of the last three days, started in Ynoa’s place, but it was Urías who ended up looking like the gassed reliever. The southpaw, whose Game 2 relief appearance incited plenty of second-guessing for manager Dave Roberts, gave up back-to-back homers to Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall in the second inning.

More pain came in the third inning with a Freddie Freeman solo homer and an RBI single from Joc Pederson, then the fifth inning as a Duvall sacrifice fly capped a one-run rally. The Dodgers got back in the game with a two-run single from A.J. Pollock in the fifth, but they never got closer than that.

Rosario ended up finishing a double short of the cycle despite completing the two hardest legs in the first three innings, but did add a second homer to break the game open in the ninth.

 

 

Justin Turner exits with hamstring injury

The Dodgers’ situation is even more dire after veteran third baseman Justin Turner exited the game in the seventh inning, pulling up while running to first base on a double play. Roberts confirmed after the game that Turner sustained a Grade 2 hamstring strain and will be out for the postseason, per MLB.com’s Sarah Wexler.

Turner had hardly been carrying the Dodgers — he is 3-for-34 this postseason — but his injury creates yet another hole to replace in an already stretched out Dodger lineup.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario hit two home runs to power a Game 4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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 Atlanta Braves outfielder Eddie Rosario hit two home runs to power a Game 4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Can the Braves finish off the Dodgers? Don’t think so.

No MLB playoff team finished with fewer wins than the Braves this year, but they’ve found themselves in an enviable position in mid-October. Or about as enviable as you can get when you’re an Atlanta team with a lead.

The Dodgers entered the NLCS with a significant headwind thanks to a five-game NLDS battle with the San Francisco Giants, forcing them to go with a bullpen game in Game 1 and start a short-rest Max Scherzer in Game 2. The Braves took both games in walk-off fashion, but missed out on a 3-0 lead thanks to the heroics of Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts.

That rally made Game 4 all the more pivotal, and the Braves ended up taking a commanding lead. Braves fans need little reminder what happened last time they were in this position, though circumstances have changed somewhat.

This Dodger team might have won 106 games, but Clayton Kershaw, Max Muncy and now Turner are out with injuries while 2020 playoff stars Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson are playing for other teams (the Braves, in Pederson’s case). The Braves might be without two of their three best hitters from last year for very different reasons — Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna — but other hitters like Rosario and Austin Riley have stepped up.

While the Dodgers theoretically had the advantage in Game 4 with Urías against a bullpen game, the roles will be reversed in Game 5 with the Dodgers going to the bullpen and the Braves starting a strong young lefty in Max Fried.

That Game 5 might be more important the Braves care to admit. The may get to play a potential Game 6 and Game 7 in front of a home crowd, but few teams want to face Dodger aces Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler back-to-back with the World Series on the line, even if neither were their best in their first two starts this series.

 

 

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