Facing elimination, up steps Chris Taylor.
He smashed three home runs to keep the Los Angeles Dodgers alive against the Atlanta Braves in their best-of-seven National League Championship Series, cutting the Braves’ lead to 3-2.
The 31-year-old provided six of the Dodgers’ first seven runs, as they cruised to an 11-2 victory in Game 5 on Thursday night, meaning they will head to Atlanta for Game 6 in an exciting MLB playoffs.
Taylor became the first player in postseason history to hit three home runs while his team faced elimination.
“It’s definitely a surreal feeling,” Taylor said. “I never thought I was going to hit three homers in a game, let alone a postseason game.”
Taylor’s form this season earned him his first All-Star call up.
He became just the 11th player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a postseason game on Thursday night.
One of the other players to do so, Taylor’s teammate Albert Pujols, called him an “unbelievable guy, great teammate.”
“Just the preparation that he goes in day-in and day-out every day, the stuff that you guys don’t get to see, but the players get to see, that’s why he has the success that he has at the plate,” said Pujols.
Still trailing, the Dodgers are trying to become the 15th team to win a best-of-seven series after trailing 3-1 and the fifth to do so after trailing both 2-0 and 3-1.
The defending champions have been in this situation before though, trailing 0-2 and 1-3 against Atlanta last year in the NLCS before winning three straight.
“I guess when our backs are against the wall, we play our best and fight,” said manager Dave Roberts. “But that’s just not an ideal spot to be in, even right now, elimination game in Game 6, but I guess it brings out the best in us.”
If the Braves can win that clinching game, it will seal a first World Series appearance since 1999.
Meanwhile after their Game 5 thrashing of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday, the Houston Astros have the chance to close out the series in Game 6 on Friday back at home and reach the World Series for the third time in five seasons.
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