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Sports activities Pulse: The MLB postseason has two dropping groups in it. There used to be just a 60-game common season. Does the 2020 International Sequence champion require an asterisk? Our MLB mavens debate.

USA TODAY

ARLINGTON, Texas – The primary showdown between avid gamers with the similar identify in postseason historical past grew to become out to be remarkably momentous.

Sufficient, possibly, to show the tide on this Nationwide League Championship Sequence, even.

In a fight of Will Smiths that used to be 5 video games within the making, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ model put in combination a outstanding at-bat towards his Atlanta Braves counterpart, falling right into a two-strike hollow earlier than clouting a full-count fastball into the left-field seats at Globe Lifestyles Box, a important three-run house run for a membership preventing removal.

It grew to become a one-run Dodgers deficit right into a Four-2 lead heading into the ground of the 6th in Sport Five, with the Braves protecting a Three-1 NLCS lead.

Smith, the Dodgers’ second-year catcher, and Smith, in his first yr within the Braves bullpen, had met earlier than. The left-hander used to be the San Francisco Giants nearer final season, and he encountered the Dodgers’ then-rookie catcher with two outs within the backside of the 9th of a Five-Four recreation on Sept. 7, 2019.

Smith the pitcher prevailed then, putting out his more youthful counterpart to finish the sport.

Looked like a reasonably large spot for a trivialities query. Then got here Friday night time.

With each groups dedicated to bullpen video games, Smith figured to  are available early, and he used to be summoned with two outs within the 6th, explicitly to retire lefty slugger Max Muncy.

However Smith threw 3 consecutive balls to Muncy, battled to a complete rely earlier than strolling Munch, whose bat by no means left his shoulder.

In more practical occasions, that would possibly had been it for Smith the pitcher. However the brand new three-batter minimal mandated the Smith-Smith matchup happen.

Can’t believe what Act III will convey.