Braves knock out Brewers playoff on Freddie Freeman home run
Posted On October 13, 2021
With 88 regular season wins, the Atlanta Braves have the worst record of any team in the MLB playoffs this year. But in October, none of that matters.
Reigning National League MVP Freddie Freeman broke a 4-4 tie with a solo home run against Milwaukee Brewers closest Josh Hader late in the eighth inning Tuesday night to take Atlanta to a 5-4 win.
The Braves eliminated the Brewers in four games and qualified for the National League Championship series for the second straight season.
“They were a whole different team in the second half,” Freeman said, attributing several key additions to the front office at the trade deadline. “We feel pretty good about ourselves in the second half, playing really good baseball and we carried it over to the playoffs.”
The visiting Brewers ended a 22-inning drought in the series, taking a two-point lead in back-to-back innings and knocking out Atlanta starter Charlie Morton after 3 1/3 innings. But each time, the Braves immediately responded with two points.
Eddie Rosario had a two-run single against Milwaukee starter Eric Lauer in the fourth, while Joc Pederson and Travis d’Arnaud fought off reliever Aaron Ashby in the fifth.
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With the score still tied, Brewers manager Craig Counsel asked Hader to start eighth, knowing he would have a left-left clash with Freeman expected to finish third in the set.
After the first two hitters were out on strikes, Freeman hopped on a first pitch slider and dropped it several rows into the center field seats – the first home run Hader had cleared since July 28.
“I just saw a nose-up (in the zone) and was able to get a good swing,” Freeman told TBS on the field after the game. “There was no rhyme or reason for that. I rocked the whole game well. I worked on stuff before the game and was able to pull one out.”
Closest to the Braves, Will Smith, threw a perfect ninth inning to seal the victory and send Atlanta to face the Los Angeles Dodgers or the San Francisco Giants for the National League pennant.
The Braves took the Dodgers to seven games in last year’s NLCS before losing to future World Series champions.
This time, they hope the outcome will be different.