Braves defeat Dodgers
3 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 2||ATL 2||LA 1|
|2||Oct. 3||ATL 3||LA 2|
|3||Oct. 5||ATL 5||LA 2|
Managers: Cox, Bobby, ATL; Russell, Bill, LA
Path to the NLDS: Atlanta (96-66) won the NL East by eight games; Los Angeles (90-72) won the NL Wild Card.
The Braves set out to repeat their first World Series championship in the franchise's Atlanta era, and were beginning to form a divisional dynasty, as they would remain a fixture in every postseason through 2005. While they handily won their division, the opponent was a Dodgers club that settled for Wild Card status after being shut out by San Diego on the final day of the regular season to decide the NL West.
For the Dodgers, that meant the difference between winning and losing home-field advantage in the first round. And for Tommy Lasorda, their manager, it meant a quick end to what would be the last season in his 21 years as the club's skipper.
John Smoltz, who won 24 games and his only NL Cy Young Award in 1996, started the opener for Atlanta at Dodger Stadium and allowed just one run on four hits over nine innings in a brilliant duel against Ramon Martinez. The score was still tied at 1 entering the 10th, and Javy Lopez hit a solo homer off Al Osuna to put the Braves ahead. Mark Wohlers recorded the save.
In Game 2, the Dodgers were ahead, 2-1, until a pair of solo homers by Jermaine Dye and Fred McGriff in the top of the seventh put the Braves on top. Greg Maddux got the win and Wohlers notched another save.
When the series shifted to Atlanta for Game 3, it was the beginning of the end for the Dodgers - and for Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. New Turner Field awaited the team in 1997, so nostalgia joined with the usual Tomahawk Chop. This time, it was a similar formula - an ace (Tom Glavine) got the win and Wohlers made it three consecutive saves. Thus ended a pitcher's series, as the Dodgers batted .147 and the Braves just .180.