Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger watches his home run against the Atlanta Braves during the seventh inning in Game 7 of a baseball National League Championship Series Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Arlington, Texas.

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Dodgers celebrated as Cody Bellinger’s drive soared deep into the Texas night. Bellinger flung his bat off to the side and strutted up the first-base line.

All the way to the World Series.

Bellinger hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh inning, and the Dodgers advanced to the Fall Classic for the third time in four years by topping the Atlanta Braves 4-3 in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series on Sunday.

Story continues below advertisement

“This year is our year,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Bellinger connected an inning after Kike Hernandez became the first pinch hitter with a game-tying or go-ahead homer in a winner-take-all-game. His homer tied it at 3 and, like Bellinger’s, came on the eighth pitch of the at-bat.

The Dodgers, who matched an LCS record with 16 homers, overcame a 3-1 series deficit by winning three consecutive games when facing elimination for only the second time in their storied history.

“Defensively, pitching, game-calling, planning, everything. we grinded all the way through this series,” said shortstop Corey Seager, who was named NLCS MVP after bashing a record five homers in the series. “We’re glad to be on top.”

After winning both their NL Division Series and the NLCS in the new $1.2 billion Globe Life Field, the Dodgers get to stay in place for the World Series. Game 1 against the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays is Tuesday night.

Julio Urias closed with three perfect innings as the Dodgers won their 24th NL pennant, their 12th since moving to Los Angeles. They are coming off their eighth consecutive NL West title.

It was the 16th consecutive playoff appearance in which Atlanta did not win a World Series, the most for any team.

Story continues below advertisement

But these Braves have won three consecutive NL East titles and have a bunch of young players surrounding NL MVP candidate Freddie Freeman, who had never been to the NLCS in his previous 10 seasons in Atlanta.

“We’re taking strides in the right direction. And we did it with our young players and the experience they got,” manager Brian Snitker said. “A lot of our young players grew up a lot in these last three months.”

The Dodgers are once again going for their first World Series title since 1988. They lost Game 7 at home three years ago to to the Houston Astros, and then lost in five games to the Boston Red Sox in 2018 when Mookie Betts was the AL MVP and playing against Los Angeles.

Tampa Bay’s win in Game 7 of the ALCS late Saturday night wiped out the chance for an October rematch with the Astros, whose 2017 World Series victory over the Dodgers has been heavily tarnished by the revelations of Houston’s sign-stealing tactics that season.

Betts, the first-year Dodger signed for 12 more years, made another incredible defensive play, robbing Freeman of a solo homer in the fifth. He had run-saving plays in all three of their potential elimination games.

“This is really the first time we’ve had our backs against the wall,” Betts said. “It seemed like we were getting handled a little bit early on. We were able to get a hold of ourselves and fight back. We’re never going to give up.”

Story continues below advertisement

Urias, the fifth Dodgers pitcher, got his fourth win in four appearances this post-season. The 24-year-old right-hander, already in his fourth post-season, has a 0.57 ERA in these playoffs.

“That’s his moment right there. That was his game to win and he went out there and did it,” Seager said.

The massive shot to right by reigning NL MVP and 2018 NLCS MVP Bellinger came on a 94-mph sinker after fouling off three pitches in a row by Chris Martin, the fifth Braves pitcher who started the seventh with strikeouts of Max Muncy and Will Smith.

Hernandez led off the sixth with a 424-foot drive to left-centre off A.J. Minter.

“Game 7 of the NLCS, win or go home, I was ready from first pitch of the game on. Mentally prepared, physically ready, envisioning AB situations,” Hernandez said.

Dansby Swanson homered for Atlanta, which hasn’t been to the World Series since 1999.

Story continues below advertisement

Before the late drama, it was the first winner-take-all game in post-season history matching rookie starters.

The Dodgers scored twice in the third to tie it at 2, the first runs allowed by Ian Anderson in his four post-season starts — the 22-year-old right-hander started only six games for Atlanta in the regular season. His scoreless streak of 17 2/3 innings was the third-longest to start a post-season career.

Justin Turner drew a two-out walk, Muncy doubled and Will Smith bounced a two-run single through the open gap near second created by the defensive shift.

The Dodgers' Dustin May became the first pitcher to walk the first two batters in a winner-take-all-game — and the 23-year-old from nearby Justin, Texas, did so without throwing a strike to Ronald Acuna Jr. or Freeman. The Braves didn’t even swing at a pitch until Marcell Ozuna’s sharp single through the left side of the infield on an 0-1 curveball for a 1-0 lead.

“We believed we should have been in the World Series,” Freeman said. “It’s just the Dodgers came, and they won three games in a row. I feel like you can hang your head high. We gave it everything we had.”

HUGE DOUBLE PLAY

The Braves had just taken a 3-2 lead on Austin Riley’s RBI single when the Dodgers turned an unconventional double play in the fourth. With runners on second and third, and the infield playing back, Nick Markakis hit a hard grounder to third baseman Justin Turner. Swanson got caught in a rundown between third and home. He was tagged out when Turner dived at him before getting up and throwing to Seager at third to get Riley.

Story continues below advertisement

Asked about momentum changes in the game, Roberts said that play “started it, to kind of keep the game where it was at.”

GOING DEEP

Swanson became the 14th different player to homer in the series, the most ever in an NLCS. He was the sixth Atlanta player to go deep, while the Dodgers had eight. ... The teams combined to hit 25 homers, tied for the second-most in any LCS.

UP NEXT

The Dodgers and Rays last played in 2019, when they split two games in Los Angeles and split two in Tampa Bay. That was the same as when they had previously played in 2016.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies