The Braves got started quickly in front of an electric crowd at Truist Park. Eddie Rosario led off the game with an opposite field single. It was his 13th hit of the NLCS, tying a franchise record set by Javy Lopez. However, Rosario was erased as Freddie Freeman grounded into the shift for a double play. Atlanta wasn’t finished as Ozzie Albies doubled off the wall in right and then came around to score on a ground-rule double off the bat of Austin Riley to give the Braves an early lead.
Ian Anderson began the game by retiring the first six hitters he faced. A.J. Pollock led off the third with a double to left-center. Anderson got Matt Beaty to fly out to left for the first out and then struck out Buehler. Mookie Betts grounded to Austin Riley to leave the runner stranded.
The Braves threatened again in the third as Freeman worked a one-out walk. Buehler struck out Albies but Riley followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second. However, the Braves were unable to cash in as Adam Duvall went down on three pitches to end the inning.
Anderson retired Corey Seager on a fly out to begin the fourth but then walked Trea Turner. Will Smith followed with a single to right to put runners at first and second. Anderson ran the count full against Chris Taylor but struck him out with a good changeup for the second out. He got ahead of Cody Bellinger 1-2 but Bellinger poked a two-strike changeup against the shift to score Turner and tie the game.
Anderson came back and retired Pollock on a pop-up in the infield to end the inning.
After giving up the lead, Atlanta needed a spark and they got it in the home half of the inning. Buehler struck out Joc Pederson and then got Dansby Swanson to fly out to center. He then issued a free pass to Travis d’Arnaud. With Anderson due up, Brian Snitker had a decision to make. He opted to send up the pinch-hitter in Ehire Adrianza, who hit a broken-bat double into the right field corner to put runners at second and third. That brought Rosario to the plate, who leveled off on an inner-portion cutter and drove it over the wall in right for a three-run homer to put the Braves in front, 4-1.
Anderson did his job, allowing three hits and one run over four innings. He struck out four and walked one while throwing 66 pitches.
A.J. Minter took over in the fifth and struck out two of the three hitters he faced in a shutdown inning. He came back out for the sixth and added two more strikeouts in another perfect frame.
The Braves threatened again in the sixth. Brusdar Graterol was as impressive as Minter, retiring all five hitters he faced between the fifth and sixth. With two outs in the inning, Dave Roberts called for lefty Alex Vesia to face Rosario. Vesia walked him and then issued free passes to Freeman and Albies to load the bases. Roberts went back to the bullpen for Blake Treinen, who struck out Riley to leave the runners stranded.
Luke Jackson took over in the seventh and was greeted by a double off the left field wall by Taylor. Jackson then walked Bellinger on four pitches to bring the tying run to the plate. After a visit by Rick Kranitz, Jackson jumped ahead of Pollock, but Pollock ended up flaring a 1-2 pitch just fair down the left field line for a double. Taylor scored on the play to cut the lead to 4-2.
Tyler Matzek replaced Jackson with little margin for error. If Rosario has been Atlanta’s offensive hero, Matzek has been their MVP on the pitching side. He struck out Pujols for the first out and then cut down pinch-hitter Stephen Souza Jr.. He needed three pitches to dispose of Betts, stranding both runners.
Matzek came back out for the eighth and quickly sat down Seager on three pitches before Turner and Smith grounded out to Riley to end the inning. It was one heck of a performance by Matzek, who came up huge in the biggest spot of his career.
The Braves threatened to add on in the eighth as Jorge Soler led off with a pinch-hit double off of Kenley Jansen and then moved over to third on a deep fly off the bat of Rosario that Bellinger ran down at the track. The Dodgers intentionally walked Freeman, but Jansen struck out Albies for the second out as Freeman stole second. Jansen dug in and struck out Riley to send the game to the ninth.
Will Smith began the ninth by striking out Taylor with a high fastball. He then ran the count full to Bellinger but blew a fastball by him for the second out. Pollock then grounded to Swanson at short for the final out.