Dodgers Rally to Win N.L.C.S. and Reach 3rd World Series in 4 Years


The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed back to the World Series for the third time in four years, looking to win their first championship in 32 years.

The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on Sunday, and will play the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, beginning Tuesday at the same stadium.

It is the 21st N.L. pennant for the Dodgers, dating to the Brooklyn squad that first went to the World Series in 1916. It is the 12th pennant the club has won since it moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

The Dodgers also became the 14th team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a seven-game series. They also had to come from behind twice on Sunday. They trailed by 2-0 early in the game but evened the score in the third inning on a two-out single by Will Smith, who hit a key home run in Game 5.

Los Angeles also trailed, 3-2, in the sixth, but evened the score again on a pinch-hit home run by Enrique Hernandez. In the seventh inning, Cody Bellinger drove a fastball from Chris Martin into the right field stands to put the Dodgers up for good.

The game began with the first matchup of rookie starting pitchers in a Game 7, as Ian Anderson of the Braves started opposite Dustin May of the Dodgers. May also started Game 5 on Friday, but he was pulled after the second inning in that game and threw only 32 pitches, enabling Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts to bring him back in Game 7 after only one day of rest.

But Roberts used May for just one inning on Sunday, as he allowed two walks and a single to put the Dodgers in a 1-0 hole. Anderson made it through three innings, allowing the two-run single by Smith in the third, before getting pulled, and the two teams’ bullpens battled it out from there.

Although the Dodgers have enjoyed enviable success over the past decade, winning eight consecutive N.L. West titles, they were bounced out of the postseason each of those years without winning a title.

Starting with Game 1 on Tuesday, they will be seeking to claim their first World Series title since 1988. They reached the Fall Classic in 2017, but lost to the Houston Astros, and then again in 2018, when they lost to the Boston Red Sox.

But this year, the Dodgers added Boston’s most talented player from that 2018 team, Mookie Betts, to enhance an already-potent lineup. Betts hit 16 home runs and the Dodgers scored 349 runs in the regular season, the most in baseball (the Braves had 348).

Corey Seager, who had 15 home runs of his own during the regular season, got even hotter in the postseason. Going into Game 7, Seager had already knocked in 15 runs in the postseason and hit six home runs, five of them in the series against the Braves, along with 11 R.B.I. — both N.L.C.S. records.

The Braves, who have not won a World Series in 25 years, were hoping to get back to their first since 1999, when they were swept by the Yankees. It was their first loss in four N.L.C.S. Game 7s.



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