Dodgers: 4 NLCS blunders that led to Braves winning the World Series

Thomas Carannante
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 16: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is tagged out in a rundown by Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning of Game One of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park on October 16, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 16: Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is tagged out in a rundown by Dansby Swanson #7 of the Atlanta Braves during the ninth inning of Game One of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park on October 16, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

1. Chris Taylor’s Game 1 Baserunning Gaffe

Man, it’s really hard for us to be putting ANY blame on Chris Taylor after the epic postseason he just had. If his bat wasn’t as good as it was, the Dodgers might not even have made the NLDS.

However, we have to look back at a number of situations that put the Dodgers in a hole. The offensive performance and pitching decisions in Game 2 that we just discussed play a significant role.

And so did Taylor’s baserunning gaffe in Game 1. Every MLB player will tell you mistakes in the postseason come back to haunt you. The margin for error is razor thin. Open the door for the opponent and you’ll regret it seconds later.

In Game 1 of the NLCS, it was tied 2-2 heading into the top of the ninth. No runs were scored in the previous four innings. Something had to give.

Taylor stepped into the batter’s box with two outs after both Albert Pujols and Will Smith popped out. He worked a walk against shaky closer Will Smith. That brought up Cody Bellinger, who was the team’s hottest hitter to date. On a 1-1 count, he ripped a single into right-center field.

But Taylor, for some reason, couldn’t make a decision on whether he was going to third base. He rounded second and started to make his way to third, then he stopped dead in his tracks. Joc Pederson’s throw came into second base, and as Taylor turned around, he knew he was dead. A quick rundown saw him tagged out. Inning over. Next batter would’ve been Mookie Betts with either runners at first and second or at the corners.

Next inning? The Braves walked it off. Taylor’s heroics ended up keeping the Dodgers alive later in the series, but the damage was already done. The Game 1 domino gave the Braves momentum in Game 2. The Dodgers not stealing either of those on the road put the nail in their coffin for 2021.

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