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A World Series berth is on the line Sunday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are playing Game 7 of the NLCS (GameTracker), with the winner moving on to face the Rays in the World Series. The Braves held a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series at one point, but the Dodgers won Games 5 and 6 to force Game 7.

Game 7 went back and forth in the early innings. The Braves scored a run in the first and a run in the second to take a 2-0 lead, then the Dodgers answered with two runs in the third. Atlanta regained the lead in the top of the fourth on Austin Riley’s single, and they were poised to really break the game open. They were all set up with runners on second and third with no outs.

Then, this happened:

WOOF. Score that a 5-2-5-2-5-6 double play. I am pro-aggressive baserunning, but with runners on second and third and no outs, Dansby Swanson has to hold at third on a grounder hit right at an infielder. He was toast as soon as he broke home. And Riley, what in the world was that? He hesitated between second and third, so he was going to be out no matter which way he went.

Also, props to Justin Turner for his amazing flying tag. Look at this:

With runners at second and third and no outs, the Braves had a 76.8 percent chance to win Game 7. After the double play, those odds dipped to 60.3 percent. A 16.5 percentage point swing in win probability on a single play in the fourth inning is massive. Had Swanson held at third and the Dodgers taken the out at first, Atlanta’s win probability still would’ve been 69.9 percent.

Blown opportunities have been a theme for the Braves in the NLCS. In their three losses, they were 4 for 27 (.148) — 4 for 27! — with runners in scoring position. That includes blowing a bases loaded with no outs opportunity in the second inning of Game 6 (Riley and Nick Markakis struck out and Cristian Pache grounded out), a game they lost by two runs.

The Braves are an excellent team, but so are the Dodgers, and giving them two outs on the bases on one play is no way to win a Game 7. The chances Atlanta comes to regret that inning are awfully high.


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