The Atlanta Braves defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 (box score) on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. The win means the Braves will advance to the NL Championship Series for the second season in a row, where they’ll await either the San Francisco Giants or the Los Angeles Dodgers to play a best-of-seven series for the pennant. (The Giants and Dodgers are playing their own Game 4, with the Giants leading 2-1, on Tuesday night.) The Brewers, conversely, will head home to begin their offseason.
The winning run of the game was scored in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman launched a home run off Brewers closer Josh Hader. Freeman’s home run, his first this postseason, traveled 428 feet and had an exit velocity of 105.9 mph, according to Statcast’s calculations.
To the action footage:
Here are three other takeaways from the game.
1. Braves bullpen comes up big
A common theme throughout the first three games of this series had the Braves pitching staff holding steady. It wouldn’t appear that was necessarily the case on Tuesday, as starter Charlie Morton gave up two runs over 3 1/3 innings on short rest, yet Atlanta’s bullpen mostly did its job in keeping Milwaukee at bay.
With the exception of Huascar Ynoa, who surrendered two runs of his own, the Braves bullpen shoved over the course of 4 2/3 scoreless innings. That effort saw five relievers — Jesse Chavez, A.J. Minter, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and Will Smith — combine to record eight strikeouts, one walk, and two hits.
For the series, the Braves had nine different pitchers make an appearance. Only two of them — Morton and Ynoa — gave up a run. The Braves didn’t score many runs themselves in four games, but they didn’t need to with that kind of pitching.
2. No Soler, but other deadline acquisitions pay off
The big news prior to Game 4 was that leadoff hitter and outfielder Jorge Soler would miss at least five days after testing positive for COVID-19. It was unclear how that would impact the Braves’ chances of advancing, but a few of their other trade deadline acquisitions made sure that they wouldn’t miss Soler on Tuesday night.
Fellow outfielders Joc Pederson and Eddie Rosario combined to drive in three of Atlanta’s five runs. Rosario, pinch-hitting in the fourth, hit a single to shallow center that drove in two to tie the game at 2-2. Later, in the fifth, Pederson reached on a fielder’s choice that brought the Braves back within a run by making it 4-3.
Adam Duvall, yet another outfielder added at the deadline, also had a multi-hit game (though he made another base-running gaffe early on when he attempted to score from second on a line drive to left field that was caught).
The Braves didn’t have the flashiest deadline, but their additions made their presences known throughout this series, including on Tuesday night.
3. Rough night ends tough series for Yelich
The final out of the Brewers season was recorded by Christian Yelich. That was a fitting touch, since he had another disappointing game in a series full of them.
Yelich entered the night hitting .200/.333/.200 this series in his first 12 trips to the plate. On Tuesday, he went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts and three runners left on base. While the blame for the loss cannot be placed solely on any one individual, it’s fair to wonder how the series may have played out differently if Yelich had found a way to convert on more of his opportunities.
Of course, that can be said about any number of Brewers. Unfortunately for Milwaukee, they’ll now have the rest of the winter to play the what-if game.