Braves oust Dodgers, clinch 1st World Series appearance since 1999
The Atlanta Braves beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Saturday night in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series to eliminate the reigning champs and advance to their first World Series since 1999.
The Braves will now face the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic. The series is set to get underway Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. Houston owns home-field advantage after finishing the season with 95 wins compared to Atlanta's 88.
Altlanta is the fourth team in MLB history to make a World Series after having a losing record at the All-Star break, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The Braves were 44-45 at the unofficial halfway point, 4 1/2 games back of the first-place New York Mets at the time. The last team to accomplish this was the 1991 Braves, who lost to the Minnesota Twins in seven games.
Left-handed reliever Tyler Matzek earned the series-clinching win, striking out the side in the seventh inning after entering the game with two runners on. Fellow Braves lefty Will Smith earned the save.
Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler, who made the start on short rest after Max Scherzer was a late scratch due to arm fatigue, was hit with the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out six over four innings of work.
The Braves last won a World Series in 1995 but have made the postseason 16 times since then - an MLB record for consecutive playoff appearances without a championship, according to Sarah Langs of MLB.com.
Atlanta's Game 6 victory snaps a legendary streak of Dodgers wins when facing elimination. L.A. won seven straight games when facing elimination dating back to the 2020 postseason, when they overcame a 3-1 NLCS deficit against the Braves. Only the Kansas City Royals (8) and San Francisco Giants (10) have won more consecutive games when facing playoff elimination, according to ESPN Stats & Info.