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Chris Taylor cemented his place in Los Angeles Dodgers lore during Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.
The Dodgers’ left fielder sold out to make a sensational catch that robbed Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich of at least a game-tying double during the fifth inning. The great grab proved to being a turning point in the Dodgers 5-1, pennant-clinching victory.
The Brewers were looking for some two-out magic again after coming through in that situation multiple times during Game 6. Lorenzo Cain got Brewers fans’ hopes up with a double one batter earlier. Then Yelich, who homered in the first inning against Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, seemingly followed suit.
Off the bat, the ball appeared destined to find outfield grass. But Taylor, who actually started the game at second base, showed off his incredible athleticism and versatility to make the catch.
Score one for Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. When Brewers ace Josh Hader entered the game in the third inning, he pinch-hit for outfielder Joc Pederson. That decision necessitated Taylor’s move to left field. Is it a play Pederson makes? Maybe. But we know for certain Taylor made it.
It’s not overstating to say Taylor’s catch might go down as one of the most incredible catches, or least most important catches, in postseason history. It changed the outlook of Game 7 entirely. Instead of Milwaukee evening the score, Los Angeles held on to its one-run lead. Then, in the next half inning, Yasiel Puig padded the lead with a three-run home run.
Given the circumstances and the timing, this sequence of events may ultimately define the Dodgers’ season. Unless, of course, the Dodgers have something even bigger up their sleeve when they meet the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
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