Well, it’s not as if the Dodgers haven’t been in this exact spot before. They faced the same 3-1 deficit just a year ago against these same Braves in the NLCS before rattling off three straight wins in route to their first championship since 1988.
The circumstances are nearly identical to last season. The only real difference being that the Dodgers finished this season with the 2nd best record in baseball instead of the best record.
If they want to defend their title, they’ll have to do it one more time. Only 14 teams in baseball history have erased a 3-1 deficit. Only three teams have done it multiple times.
And no team has done it in back-to-back seasons. One team has done it in back-to-back postseason series’ though. That team is of course the 1985 Royals, who overcame a 3-1 deficit in the ALCS against the Blue Jays and again in the World Series against the Cardinals.
The Dodgers will once again put their season in the hands of an opener, sending Joe Kelly to the mound for the start. He’ll be opposed by lefty Max Fried, who gave up just two runs in 6.0 innings when he took the ball in Game 1.
Joe Kelly will start Game 5 tonight.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 21, 2021
Los Angeles will also be without third baseman Justin Turner, who was removed from Game 4 with a grade 2 hamstring strain. Chris Taylor will replace him at third. The Dodgers also removed Turner from their roster, adding another right-handed bat in Andy Burns, which makes Turner ineligible to play in the World Series should the Dodgers make it, even if he gets healthy.
In other news, Jorge Soler is back from the COVID-19 list and on the roster, but he isn’t in the starting lineup for tonight.
Here are your lineups for tonight’s matchup. Albert Pujols gets the start at first base.