clearn.png
Friday October 18th, 2019 7:07AM

Dodgers counting on Machado to push them over Series hump

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Even with all their star power and deep pockets, all their booming hitters and ace pitchers, the Los Angeles Dodgers are approaching three decades since their last World Series championship.

They're making another run at that elusive title.

Only this time, Manny Machado is along for the ride.

The slugging shortstop hit a three-run homer that wrapped up a 6-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday, sending Los Angeles to the NL Championship Series for the third year in a row and fourth time in six seasons.

This is what the Dodgers had in mind when they acquired the free agent-to-be from the lowly Baltimore Orioles back in July.

They're hoping Machado is the one who turns Tinseltown into Titletown for the first time since 1988.

"Can't say enough about him," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. "A player of his caliber, there are so many expectations put on him."

Machado had only three hits in a 3-1 division series victory over the Braves, but two of them were homers. He finished with six RBIs.

"We prepared ourselves to get here," Machado said. "We're not going to stop till we get what we want."

Clearly, nothing less than a World Series title will do.

While the Dodgers went through the customary celebration that follows any postseason victory — they doled out T-shirts and caps, posed for pictures in the middle of SunTrust Park, then doused themselves with beer in the clubhouse — the focus turned quickly to the next round.

The Dodgers will face the Brewers in the NLCS. Game 1 is Friday night in Milwaukee.

"We all know that there's a lot more work to be done," Roberts said. "We have eight more wins to go."

Los Angeles spent much of the season locked in a tight race with division rivals Colorado and Arizona, and required a one-game playoff with the Rockies to clinch its sixth straight NL West title.

"We took a hard path to get to this point, but I do think it made us stronger and kind of galvanized our team," Roberts said.

It certainly helps to have a player of Machado's caliber bolstering an already potent lineup. The Dodgers hit a franchise-record 235 homers during the regular season, and added eight more in the NLDS.

"They're a very powerful team," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "It's what they've done all year is hit home runs. We're not built like that yet."

Indeed, the Baby Braves were thoroughly overmatched in their first postseason appearance since 2013, hitting .154 overall and scoring just eight runs. Though the future looks bright for a team that pulled off a massive rebuilding job much quicker than expected, Atlanta was not quite ready to contend with a team of the Dodgers' quality.

Los Angeles had too much power, too much depth, too much pitching.

Not to mention too much Machado.

"It was a great ride," Snitker said. "We took a huge step forward this year. We had some very young players get a lot of great experience, both during the regular season and the postseason. And we have some really good players coming up. I really am excited about the future of the Atlanta Braves right now."

The Dodgers are locked firmly in the present.

This is a franchise desperate to win one more game than it did a season ago, when the Houston Astros took Game 7 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium.

That's why they acquired Machado.

"Coming over from Baltimore midway through the season — new ball club, new atmosphere, new teammates, new coaching staff, new front office, I mean, it's always a bit of an adjustment," he said. "But they've been nothing but amazing to us, to myself and my family. And coming here to a winning ballclub that's been determined the whole way since last year to get into this situation and further, I'm just sitting here enjoying everything, enjoying the ride."

Machado wasn't the only in-season acquisition to play a key role in the clinching victory over the Braves. David Freese, picked up from Pittsburgh just minutes before the trade deadline, came through with a pinch-hit, two-run single that put the Dodgers ahead to stay in the sixth.

The MVP of St. Louis' improbable victory in the 2011 World Series, Freese is eager to take part in another magical postseason run.

"You never know what this game is going to give you, what opportunities arise for you," Freese said. "You just gotta be ready."

___

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 . His work can be found at https://apnews.com/search/paul%20newberry

___

For more AP baseball coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Google poised to unveil new Pixel phones, other services
Google is expected to introduce two new Pixel phones along with other devices designed to increase usage of its advertising-driven services
3:18AM ( 23 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
3:06AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Next step for NBA is hiring women in positions of power
Job opportunity? Next step for NBA to improve its good marks in diversity is by hiring women in positions of power
3:05AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Terry, Gibson lead Ducks past Wings 3-2 in home opener
The Anaheim Ducks celebrated the home opener of their 25th anniversary season with a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings
2:08AM ( 1 hour ago )
Holt 1st with postseason cycle, Red Sox rout Yankees 16-1
Brock Holt became the first player to hit for the cycle in a postseason game and the Boston Red Sox routed the New York Yankees 16-1 to grab a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five AL Division Series
1:39AM ( 2 hours ago )
'Embarrassing': Yanks routed by Red Sox 16-1, trail ALDS 2-1
The New York Yankees absorbed the most-lopsided loss in their postseason history, routed by the Boston Red Sox 16-1 in the AL Division Series
1:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Machado, Dodgers finish off Baby Braves in NLDS with 6-2 win
Familiar territory: The Los Angeles Dodgers head back to the NL Championship Series for third year in a row, eliminate the Atlanta Braves with a 6-2 win
8:35PM ( 7 hours ago )
October orbit: Astros advance with 11-3 win, sweep Indians
Astros advance to ALCS with 11-3 blowout in Game 3, sweep Indians
7:31PM ( 8 hours ago )
Odd path to playoffs: Kratz, Voit, Brasier take longer road
Erik Kratz, Luke Voit and Ryan Brasier started the season just hoping to earn a spot in the majors
7:09PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
AP Online - Georgia News
Vizcaino, Braves stop Dodgers 6-5, cut NLDS deficit to 2-1
Reliever Arodys Vizcaino escaped his own jam in a nervy ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves held off the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5, cutting their deficit in the NL Division Series to 2-1
12:07AM ( 1 day ago )
Rockies' wait for title will extend past a quarter century
Colorado's wait for a World Series title will extend past a quarter century after an offensive disappearance in getting swept by the Brewers.
10:19PM ( 1 day ago )
Brewers sweep Rockies, advance to 1st NLCS since 2011
The Milwaukee Brewers are heading back to the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2011
9:26PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Google poised to unveil new Pixel phones, other services
Google is expected to introduce two new Pixel phones along with other devices designed to increase usage of its advertising-driven services
3:18AM ( 24 minutes ago )
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
LEADING OFF: Red Sox try to bounce Yanks from ALDS
3:06AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Next step for NBA is hiring women in positions of power
Job opportunity? Next step for NBA to improve its good marks in diversity is by hiring women in positions of power
3:05AM ( 36 minutes ago )
Asian stocks fall after IMF downgrades economic outlook
Asian stocks retreat as IMF downgrades economic outlook
2:40AM ( 1 hour ago )
IMF downgrades outlook for world economy to 3.7 pct. growth
IMF downgrades outlook for world economy to 3.7 percent growth, citing higher rates and growing trade tensions
2:35AM ( 1 hour ago )