Eddie Rosario’s hot hit puts Braves to a World Series win

Eddie Rosario's hot hit puts Braves to a World Series win

LOS ANGELES – There’s heat, sizzle and then there’s Eddie Rosario of the Braves.

Rosario had four hits in a game for the second time in the National League Championship Series (SCLN) and tied a Braves postseason record with 12 total bases, leading Atlanta to a 9-2 victory over the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. With the victory, the Braves took a dominant 3-1 series lead over Los Angeles and can clinch their first pennant since 1999 with a victory at Dodger Stadium in Game 5 on Thursday.

“This whole postseason has been incredible,” said Braves leader Freddie Freeman, who homered, doubled, walked and was overshadowed by Rosario’s performance.

Rosario came within a double of becoming the second player to hit the loop in a postseason game, but only because his bat is too hot. With a home run, triple and single already on the books, Rosario broke the fence with a line to right field in the ninth inning for his second home run of the game, a three-run connection that capped a four-run Atlanta rally that opened the play.

“It’s postseason, whatever happens, the cycle, I want to try to help the team win,” Rosario said. “Three RBIs is better than hitting a double.”

On September 19, Rosario hit for the cycle against the San Francisco Giants, needing just five pitches to do so. That kicked off a hot streak that has continued into the highest pressure games of his career. Since that game, Rosario has hit .354 with five home runs in a span of 22 games. And when your bat is said to be hot, it’s just that – a particular hot bat. Rosario said that he has been using the same bat with which he got the cycle.

“I’ve been using that bat that I got the cycle with and it hasn’t disappointed me,” Rosario said. “I had that double left, and I’m like, man, this bat still hasn’t let me down.”

During the National League Championship Series, Rosario has hit .588 with a pair of four-hit games. He is the first player to have a pair of four-hit games in the same Championship Series. Only Hall of Famer Robin Yount, who did it in the 1982 World Series, has done it in any postseason.

Not bad for a player who wasn’t signed by the Minnesota Twins last fall, didn’t join a new team until February, wrestled for half a season with the Cleveland Indians, and then was eliminated at the trade deadline.

“I came here and I wanted to show my name, show my talent and show people what kind of player I am,” Rosario said. “I feel like I was successful in Minnesota and I struggled a bit in Cleveland, so when I came here I definitely wanted to make sure I show my talents appropriately.”

As the postgame interrogators were eager to remind the Braves after Wednesday’s game, Atlanta also held a 3-1 lead over the Dodgers in the SCLN last season, only to drop three straight games against Los Angeles and Finish a game of breaking the franchise’s pennant drought. But with every question asked along those lines, the Braves have come up with a fairly simple answer: This is a different team and a different year.

“[Es] 2021, “Freeman said.” 2020 was last year. This is a completely different team, a completely different thing. So if anyone is thinking of 2020, I think everyone wants to be on a 3-1 lead, so we’ll take it. “

The different part of the team has been on full display against the Dodgers. Rosario and two other outfield acquisitions this season, Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall, have led the Braves’ offense in this series. The trio have combined to hit .404 with four home runs and 14 RBIs against LA. Everyone else has hit .225 with two home runs and seven RBIs.

Atlanta has yet to take that final step, but things could hardly line up better for the Braves than Thursday. That’s because the hottest pitcher in baseball, Max Fried, will take the mound, while the Dodgers will go with a bullpen game to save their season. Fried, who hails from Southern California and grew up as a Dodgers fan, has the opportunity to close the door on his childhood club.

“What he’s done in the second half and pretty much the entire course of the season, after the first two weeks, every time you see No. 54 on that mound you have a really good feeling,” Freeman said.

If Freeman’s sentiments are prescient, the Braves will go to the World Series for the first time this century.

“I was very young when they went, the last time they went,” Freeman said. “So we have a good team and we’re playing really good baseball and hopefully we can take this home with us and make it to the World Series.”

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