Will Smith cranked a moonshot for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the top of the fourth and Austin Riley responded in the bottom of the fourth for the Atlanta Braves with a big fly of his own.
Game 1 of the 2021 NLCS was tied at 1-1 when Smith took Max Fried’s offering deep into the Atlanta sky. It was reminiscent of the homer he hit off his namesake in the NLCS a year ago in Texas. Fried did not locate this pitch well, and Smith made him pay for it.
Down 2-1, Riley took it upon himself to make it a new ballgame once again as he crushed Tony Gonsolin’s pitch just inside of the left field foul pole. It did not matter if Gonsolin is The Cat Man, Riley used his bat, man, to pulverize this offering to tie it up at two.
Will Smith, Austin Riley exchange home runs in fourth inning of NLCS
Los Angeles might be the defending World Series champion, but the Dodgers have gotten to this point through several high-pressure situations. They won the NL Wild Card game at home over the St. Louis Cardinals on a Chris Taylor walk-off homer. Los Angeles needed five games and a terrible check swing call to beat the rival San Francisco Giants at their place in the NLDS two days ago.
As for Atlanta, the Braves won three games in a row after dropping Game 1 at the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS. Though they won the worst division in baseball, Atlanta is right back where Braves Country hoped they would be at the start of the season. To be the best, you have to beat the best. Atlanta has home-field advantage this time taking on the Dodgers in the NL postseason.
It was nice to see two big flies to get the Senior Circuit’s ultimate showdown off on the right foot.