Despite losing Mike Soroka in early August and spending most of the season without more than one or two dependable starting pitchers, the Braves won a postseason series for the first time since 2001 and finished a win away from their first World Series since 1999.
But even while overcoming so much, the Braves also squandered a 3-1 series lead. Just add it to the pain felt in Atlanta, a city still haunted by Larry Bird besting Dominique Wilkins in Game 7 and a squandered 28-3 lead in a recent Super Bowl.
It also doesn’t help that the Braves have lost four of their past five NLCS appearances and six straight winner-take-all games, including Game 5 of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals in 2019. So while progress was made, the conclusion was all too familiar for Atlanta fans.
“We heard it all year that the Dodgers were the best team in baseball,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “We took them to Game 7, and we gave them a little heart murmur in this series. We gave them all they could handle. They just made all the right plays at the right time.”
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