The Braves’ starting pitching had been perhaps the most unstoppable force for the entire 2020 playoffs. Then, the first inning of Game 3 happened.
The Dodgers erupted for 11 runs in the top of the first on Wednesday, setting a new postseason record for most runs in a single inning. The damage included three walks, two singles, two doubles, three home runs and one hit by pitch. The outburst included the first three-homer inning by one team in playoff history.
Five of the seven hits had exit velocities greater than 105 mph, per Baseball Savant. Ten of the 11 runs were scored with two outs. Braves starter Kyle Wright could not retire any of the last five hitters he faced, a stretch that included back-to-back home runs by Joc Pederson and Edwin Rios. Wright was pulled with two outs and replaced by Grant Dayton.
The top of the first inning took 32 minutes and featured 14 batters. All nine Dodgers hitters reached base at least once, with Mookie Betts and Corey Seager each getting on base in both plate appearances. The last time the Dodgers scored this many runs in one inning pre-dates the franchise’s move to Los Angeles:
The Braves were on the wrong side of history in last year’s postseason as well. They gave up 10 runs in the first inning of Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals, which ran their playoff series losing streak to 10 games.
The Braves entered the game in possession of a 2-0 series lead, which historically has been rather safe at this stage of the playoffs. What is the overall record for teams with a 2-0 lead in NLCS? Look away, Atlanta fans: it’s 28-3.