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    Bellinger, though, had the last laugh, stepping up against right-hander Chris Martin with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and, in another eight-pitch at-bat, fighting off and fouling three two-strike pitches before launching a massive homer to the right-field seats to give the Dodgers the final lead.
    “I was in battle mode, and I got a pitch that I could hit right there Jackie Robinson Youth Jersey,” Bellinger said. “That’s one of those that you hit it, and you know right away, it felt really good.” Bellinger joined Rick Monday (ninth inning, Game 5, 1981 NLCS) as the only players in Dodger history to hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning or later of a winner-take-all game. When he gave it a good, long look while slowly strutting toward first, it was Bellinger at his contemplative best.
    7) Julio Urías slammed the door
    As has become something of an October tradition, Clayton Kershaw’s every movement was monitored as Game 7 evolved. And at one point he was indeed stretching out a bit in the Dodger bullpen.
    But we’ll have to wait until the World Series for the next chapter in Kershaw’s October odyssey. Because when the seventh inning arrived and Dave Roberts had already burned his two most trusted leverage relievers, Treinen and Brusdar Graterol, he turned to the 24-year-old Urías on three days’ rest. The lefty not only responded with a perfect seventh, but he kept it going with a 1-2-3 eighth and ninth to finish the job. “That’s his moment right there,” Seager said. “That was his game to win, and he went out there and did it. God, it was just a really impressive outing for him, shutting that team down and giving us length. It was fun to watch.”
    Game 7 was fun to watch Joc Pederson Jersey, and so was this series as a whole. Now, we’ve got a World Series featuring this 16-team tourney’s two No. 1 seeds — the only clubs to win 40 games in the 60-game regular season. Both were put through the wringer in an engrossing LCS round, and come to think of it, so were we. Let’s take a night to catch our breath. This is how it happened in the baseball October before this for Dave Roberts and the Dodgers, when they were supposed to be on their way to another World Series: They were ahead of the Nationals, 3-1, in Game 5 of a Division Series in the seventh inning and he didn’t just give the ball to one of his starters, he gave it to Clayton Kershaw — the greatest Dodger pitcher since Sandy Koufax.
    You know what happened once he did. Kershaw got the last out of the seventh, and then in the eighth, he gave up back-to-back home runs to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on consecutive pitches, and two innings later the Dodgers lost the series, and their season. “It took me six months to recover,” Roberts told me in September.
    Now, a year later, it was Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the Braves. Roberts had made another terrific move, sending up Kiké Hernández to pinch-hit and watching Hernandez tie the game at 3-3 with a home run. This was a night, of course, when Roberts — who has heard a lot over the past four years about managing moves that didn’t work out for him in October — did his job as well as a manager can do that kind of job in October.
    And in a 3-3 game, Dave Roberts gave the ball to another starting pitcher, a 24-year old named Julio Urías, who’d started 10 games for the Dodgers in the short season, with a record of 3-0. Urias had gotten a win out of the bullpen in the Dodgers’ Wild Card Series against the Brewers and another in the NL Division Series against the Padres, had started and gotten a win in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Braves on the night when the Dodgers scored 11 runs in the top of the first.
    Seventh inning again. One year later Julio Urias Jersey. Roberts gave the ball to the kid the way he’d given it to Kershaw against the Nationals. And the whole world saw what happened next: Three perfect innings, all the way through the bottom of the ninth. There was some thought from all of us watching that Roberts might give the ball to his closer, Kenley Jansen, for the save chance. No chance.
    As they say in Hollywood, the kid stayed in the picture.
    “Tonight,” Roberts said afterward, “it was [Urias'] moment.” It was a moment for all of them, in a truly memorable Game 7, one that had everything. There were home runs like Hernandez’s and Cody Bellinger’s shot in the bottom of the 7th — the one that ultimately won it for the Dodgers, one year after he didn’t hit a single home run or knock in a single run against the Nationals. It had Mookie Betts, the best right fielder of his generation, climbing the right-field wall again, this time to take a home run away from Freddie Freeman, changing another game with his glove and his talent. And it had Justin Turner somehow starting a crazy double play when the Braves had second and third and nobody out in the fourth and were already leading, 3-2. Nick Markakis hit a ground ball to Turner Justin Turner Jersey, who didn’t hesitate and threw home to start a rundown that ended with him laying out to tag Dansby Swanson and then somehow having the presence of mind to get to one knee and throw back to third, where Corey Seager tagged out Austin Riley. There has maybe never been a play in the field like it in postseason history. The Dodgers needed it. They needed all of it on Sunday night in Arlington, as they finally came all the way back from being down, 0-2 and 3-1, in the NLCS to the Braves to make it to their third World Series in the past four years.
    And if Turner hadn’t made that play and Hernandez and Bellinger hadn’t made those swings and Dustin May hadn’t managed to get out of the first having given the Braves only one run, if Urías hadn’t come out of the bullpen to pitch the way Madison Bumgarner did in a Game 7 of the World Series once, you know who would have taken all the blame. Roberts would have.
    When I spoke to him right before the postseason began, I asked if he was ready to get back on the roller coaster, and he said, “We all are.”
    Even though Bellinger was hitting just .238 at the time, Roberts calmly said, “He’s going to be fine. … He’s getting his swing right mechanically.”
    Then he watched, the way we all did, as Bellinger launched the biggest home run of his career, at least so far, in the seventh off Chris Martin. With all that, the star of this night for the Dodgers was Urías, who didn’t even turn 24 until two months ago. Now, he is 4-0 in the postseason to go with that 3-0 in the regular season. He has given up just one run in eight postseason innings. And when all the money was on the table, the manager trusted his own judgment and trusted the kid and now the Dodgers get Game 1 against the Rays on Tuesday night.
    He was great, Game 7 really was great Kirk Gibson Jersey, Hernandez and Bellinger and Mookie and Turner were great. But so, too, was their manager. The roller coaster turned out to be Game 7 for the Dodgers. From Game 7′s wobbly outset with 23-year-old Dustin May and 26-year-old Tony Gonsolin to its storybook finish with a perfect three-inning save from 24-year-old Julio Urías, the stealth youth movement within the Dodgers’ pitching staff was on national showcase at Globe Life Field in Arlington in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Atlanta to clinch the National League Championship Series. There was no emergency call to the bullpen, where 32-year-old ace starter Clayton Kershaw had been stationed the past two games, despite last October’s collapse. The phone didn’t ring in the ninth inning for 33-year-old closer Kenley Jansen, the Dodgers’ all-time saves leader who retired all six batters he faced in his previous two ninth innings.
    The Dodgers won this tense game and entertaining series in comeback fashion, outplaying and outthinking the Braves, minimizing mistakes and maximizing clutch performances. And while the home runs ruled the day on social media, it was Dave Roberts who silenced the critics by maneuvering his bullpen and outmaneuvering Atlanta.
    7 moments that made NLCS Game 7 a classic
    Granted, it didn’t start that way. Roberts hoped that May — making his third appearance of the series and first since allowing two runs (one earned) in two innings in Game 5 — would get some outs with the top of Atlanta’s batting order before Gonsolin would take over and pitch the bulk of the innings.
    Wrong on both counts, as May walked the first two batters he faced on eight pitches, yielded one run and wasn’t allowed back out for the second inning. Called on earlier than expected, Gonsolin allowed a big fly to his first batter, Dansby Swanson, and later walked three batters in a seven-batter span. Roberts then went to true reliever Blake Treinen.




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