The Los Angeles Dodgers notched their first win of the best-of-seven National League Championship Series by pounding the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 on Wednesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Thanks to a relentless and record-setting 11-run first inning -- the most runs ever scored in any inning of a postseason game -- the Dodgers cruised to a 15-3 victory (box score). The series is now 2-1, in favor of Atlanta.
In that first inning, the Dodgers tallied seven hits, including two doubles, three walks and three home runs, one of which was a two-out, grand slam from Max Muncy. Atlanta starter Kyle Wright, who threw six shutout innings in Game 3 of the NLDS vs. the Marlins, got hit with seven of those runs and five hits (two homers) on just 28 pitches.
Grant Dayton came in to relieve Wright with two outs, and had a tough time closing out the first inning. Dayton proceeded to walk Mookie Betts, give up an RBI single to Corey Seager before loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch to Justin Turner. This led to a grand slam from Muncy to make it 11-0.
Dodgers starter Julio Urias, who started this game as Clayton Kershaw still wasn't ready to return after his Game 2 scratch, was gifted a double-digit lead before he'd even thrown a pitch. He finished his start having worked five innings and allowed only one run while striking out five and walking two.
Now for some more things to know about Game 3.
It was a record-breaking game all-around
The Dodgers 11-run first inning broke a handful of MLB records. We reviewed 11 things to know about the 11-run inning here. But we're going to recap all of the records set in the Dodgers' outburst.
For starters, as we've said before, the 11 runs are the most any team has ever scored in a single inning of a postseason game.
More specifically, the 11-run inning is a franchise record for the Dodgers. It's the most ever scored in a single inning for the club, but furthermore, their 15 total runs in the win are the most they've ever scored in a postseason game.
The Dodgers have been around since 1884, for those wondering. Prior to that, the record was at 13 runs -- achieved twice in Dodgers history -- once in Game 3 of the 2013 NLDS against ... the Braves and once back in 1956 (as the Brooklyn Dodgers) when they scored 13 against the Yankees in Game 2 of the World Series.
The five home runs from the Dodgers are their most in a game in postseason history. The most home runs ever by any MLB team in a playoff game is six, courtesy of the Cubs during Game 3 of the 2015 NLDS. The five homers came from: Seager, Joc Pederson, Edwin Rios, Muncy and Cody Bellinger
The Dodgers scored their 15 runs in the first three innings. Prior to Wednesday, no other MLB team in history had ever scored that many runs or hit that many homers over the first three innings of a postseason game.
The Los Angeles ball club also earned the postseason record for the largest run differential in a game (12) and tied the record for the most hits in a postseason game (16).
On the much more unfortunate side of breaking records, Braves starter Kyle Wright became the first starting pitcher in MLB history to allow seven earned runs and pitch less than one inning in a postseason game. Wright was pulled after recording just two outs, joining Rockies' Franklin Morales (2007 World Series, Game 1 vs. Red Sox) as the only players to allow seven earned runs in less than an inning of work in a postseason game.
Goodbye, Braves' winning streak
Entering Wednesday's Game 3, the Braves owned a 7-0 record in this postseason. They had swept the Reds in the NL Wild Card round before also completing the sweep of the Marlins in the NLDS. Atlanta kept it going with two big wins to kick off their NLCS vs. the Dodgers. Obviously, with the loss on Wednesday, they now see their perfect postseason record fall to 7-1.
The Braves pitching staff had impressed thus far in their postseason run. Entering Wednesday, Braves pitchers had allowed just 13 runs in their first seven playoff games -- and seven of those came in the final three innings of a Game 2 win. Wright's seven runs in the first are more than the entire Atlanta staff had allowed in its first 64 innings of this postseason. Atlanta had recorded four shutouts in its first five postseason games.
On the flip side, the Braves had outscored their opponents through their first seven games this postseason by 24 runs. They scored 37 runs in seven games with 11 homers.
Pache hits first career home run
Cristian Pache, one of the Braves' top prospects, got his second straight start in center field for Game 3 on Wednesday. He made the most of it with a solo home run in the third inning. It was the only Braves run until they added two more in the ninth inning.
Not only was it Pache's first home run of his MLB career, but having done so in the NLCS, it also marks his first career postseason home run. He's the seventh player in MLB history to hit his first career home run in the postseason and just the third position player. He joins: Joe Blanton (2008), Melvin Mora (1999), Don Gullett (1975), Mickey Lolich (1968), Frank Demaree (1932) and Rosy Ryan (1924).
A pretty cool feat for the youngster.
With the playoff moonshot, Pache also joins Ronald Acuna Jr., Andruw Jones, and Brian McCann as the only Braves with a postseason home run before turning 22-years-old.
Pache replaced outfielder Adam Duvall in Game 1 after he left the game with an oblique injury and picked up two walks in the win. In Game 2, Pache batted ninth as the center fielder, and finished 1-for-5 with an RBI and run scored.