Taylor

LOS ANGELES -- It will forever be known around these parts as the Chris Taylor Game.

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The crowd of 51,363 chanted “CT3’’ throughout Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

They demanded a curtain call in the seventh inning.

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They screamed his name every time he took the field.

It was the night Taylor saved the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season, the night the Dodgers staved off elimination for a magical seventh time, and the night Taylor will be etched forever in Dodger folklore.

Three home runs.

Six RBI.

Four hits.

Three runs.

He was a one-man show, re-writing the record books, becoming the first player to hit three home runs in an elimination game, and only the 11th to perform the feat in any postseason game, joining the likes of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and teammate Albert Pujols.

“This is why you play the game,’’ Taylor said following LA's 11-2 rout of the Atlanta Braves. “When you look back on all the years playing for the Dodgers, it's all these big postseason games that are the most special to me. I think these are moments that we're going to be able to look back on for the rest of our lives and it's pretty cool.

NLCS Game 5: Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates his third home run of the game in the seventh inning. © Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports NLCS Game 5: Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates his third home run of the game in the seventh inning.

“It's definitely a surreal feeling for me.’’

Taylor, of course, is the one responsible for the Dodgers’ season to even be playing. It was his two-run, walk-off homer against the St. Louis Cardinals in the wild game that propelled them to the NL Division Series. It was his baserunning blunder that was blamed for their loss against Atlanta in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. Now, it’s his heroics that keep the Dodgers’ hopes alive of returning to the World Series.

“Everything gets amplified in the postseason,’’ Taylor softly said. “It's a game of failures. You're going to make mistakes. And then there's moments like tonight where that's what make it's worth it.

“And that's why you just like put your head down and keep moving forward.

The Dodgers still trail Atlanta 3-2 in this best-of-seven NLCS with Game 6 on Saturday at Truist Field.

But all that matters is they still have life, with Dodger Stadium shaking in awe.

“It was awesome, man, it really was,’’ Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger said. “I had the goosebumps sitting on deck. I had the best view, I think, for all three.

“I haven't been that close in that situation ever before either, so it was pretty cool to see that and to hear the crowd, and understand what was at stake there.’’

Pujols, 41, can certainly relate. He hit three home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the 2011 World Series, and he and Taylor are the only players in postseason history to hit three homers with at least four hits and six RBI in a game.

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“The highlights are going to be there the rest of his life,’’ Pujols said, “and that's something that you're going to share forever. A moment like this doesn't happen every day. I mean, it's hard to hit one home run in a game, imagine three, especially in the postseason.

“So, watching Chris doing that, it was pretty special.’’

Said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts: “Seeing that he’s a part of history now is pretty remarkable. He’s in an elite class of very few. So when you’re talking about Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, these guys that didn’t do it, it’s pretty remarkable.’’

Really, the only one not getting caught up in the euphoria was the man of the hour.

Oh sure, Taylor thought it was cool.

He gets to tell his grandkids about it one day.

Maybe the bat will go to his trophy case.

But, as far as going wild, pumping his fists, dancing around the bases, and getting caught up with the sheer exhilaration, sorry, Taylor’s not your man.

“He's very soft-spoken,’’ Dodgers outfielder A.J. Pollock said, impersonating his voice, “and doesn't get easily excited. The only thing that excites him is that he likes to have a beer. He gets excited about that, a beer with the boys.

“And he loves watching surfing. …If there's the World Surf Tour, if it's on, it could be 6:00 in the morning and he's on his phone watching. Loves it. Loves surfing.’’

How about the love of being a Dodger hero with one of the greatest games in franchise history, hitting 1,209 feet of homers off three different pitchers?

“The three home runs today might have spiked his adrenaline,’’ says Pollock, “but probably not. Most likely, just the beer and watching surfing.’’

Pollock hit two home runs himself, allowing Taylor and himself to become only the third pair of teammates to have a multi-homer postseason, joining Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the Yankees, along with Fernando Tatis and Wil Myers of the Padres.

Perhaps one day Taylor will share that same excitement, but not now, knowing that if the Dodgers fall short of the World Series, it will be nothing more than a forgotten footnote.

The Dodgers, who a year ago came back from a 3-games-to-1 deficit to stun Atlanta in the NLCS, are now trying to stage an encore for the ages, with the narrative already ringing from Los Angeles throughout the Deep South.

“It's going to be the narrative because every day it's brought up,’’ said Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman, whose two-run homer in the first inning was long forgotten with Taylor’s heroics. “So, I don't think we have a choice until we kill that narrative.’’

The Dodgers and Atlanta, with two fatigued pitching staffs, are scheduled to fly to Atlanta on Friday with Game 6 on Saturday. Three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer will be on the mound for Los Angeles, and the guy who was ridiculed for his baserunning mistake when the Dodgers left town, now will the villain for being the one to keep them around.

“It’s one of the happier flights I've been looking forward to,’’ Roberts said. “It's going to be a crazy environment in Atlanta. We know that.

“I guess when our backs are against the wall, we play our best and fight, but that’s just not an ideal spot to be in, even right now, elimination on Game 6.’’

But, without Taylor’s glorious performance, instead of a wall, there would be a couch, where the 2021 Dodgers had come home to rest.

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>Full screen 1/150 SLIDES © Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports
NLCS Game 5: Dodgers second baseman Trea Turner and Chris Taylor celebrate after defeating the Braves.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen closes out the game.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers' Chris Taylor celebrates his third home run of the game in the seventh inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman watches A.J. Pollock's second homer of the game in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers' Cody Bellinger doesn't realize his hit falls in for a single in the fifth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols celebrates after scoring on a two run home run from left fielder Chris Taylor in the fifth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol with the fist pump to end the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol with the fist pump to end the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol with the fist pump to end the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol with the fist pump to end the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol with the fist pump to end the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol with the fist pump to end the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol makes the out at first base in the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor celebrates with first baseman Albert Pujols after scoring on a two-run home run in the second inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario makes a catch.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor hits a two run home run in the second inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock celebrates with first baseman Albert Pujols after hitting a solo home run in the second inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Kelly walks to the dugout after being pulled in the first inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is all smiles after a two-run homer in the first inning.
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NLCS Game 5: Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies singles in the first inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves relief pitcher Will Smith celebrates with catcher Travis d'Arnaud after the final out.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario muscles up after his second homer of the game.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario hits a three run home run in the ninth inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves relief pitcher Tyler Matzek gets out of the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves right fielder Joc Pederson reacts after hitting a foul ball in the fifth inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario hits a single in the fifth inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias returns to the dugout after the second inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves center fielder Adam Duvall makes a catch against the wall to rob Dodgers' Gavin Lux in the second inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman connects for Atlanta's third a solo home run of the game in the third inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves center fielder Adam Duvall hits a solo home run in the second inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario touches home plate after a solo homer in the second inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias delivers a pitch in the first inning.
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NLCS Game 4: Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts is all smiles before the game.
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ALCS Game 5: Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez and second baseman Jose Altuve high-five after defeating the Red Sox.
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ALCS Game 5: The Red Sox watch from the dugout in the ninth inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo stands in front of the Green Monster scoreboard in the ninth inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez kneels during the ninth inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Astros left fielder Michael Brantley, second baseman Jose Altuve celebrate with shortstop Carlos Correa after scoring in the sixth inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers hits a solo home run in the seventh inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez is hit by a pitch in the fifth inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers throws to first base in the fifth inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale ends the fourth inning with a strikeout. \
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ALCS Game 5: Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers shatters his bat in the second inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez hits a solo home run in the second inning.
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ALCS Game 5: Former Red Sox players Jim Rice (right) and Luis Tiant come out for the ceremonial first pitch.
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ALCS Game 4: Astros relief pitcher Ryan Pressly reacts after defeating the Red Sox 9-2.
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ALCS Game 4: Boston Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo stands in disbelief in the ninth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Astros left fielder Michael Brantley slides past Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez in the ninth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox's Nathan Eovaldi walks off of the field in the ninth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve rounds the bases after a solo home run in the eighth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Astros relief pitcher Cristian Javier walks off of the field in the sixth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts doubles in the fifth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox second baseman Christian Arroyo slides safely into third base in the fourth inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez and third base coach Carlos Febles separate manger Alex Cora from home plate umpire Laz Diaz in the third inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta reacts after getting out of the second inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Astros starting pitcher Zack Greinke walks off of the field after the first inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts flips the bat after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.
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ALCS Game 4: Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts watches the ball after hitting a two-run home run.
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ALCS Game 4: Astros third baseman Alex Bregman rounds the bases after a solo homer in the first inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers' Kenley Jansen closes out the game in the ninth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: The Dodgers dugout reacts to right fielder Mookie Betts' RBI double in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger celebrates with catcher Will Smith after hitting a three-run home run.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers' Cody Bellinger reacts after hitting a three-run home run in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger hits a three-run home run in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers' Chris Taylor steals second base in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Braves right fielder Joc Pederson singles in the seventh inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson singles in the sixth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Braves center fielder Adam Duvall celebrates after hitting a RBI single in the fifth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler is relieved by manager Dave Roberts in the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman celebrates with team mates after scoring in the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers center fielder Gavin Lux can't make the catch in the fourth inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager hits a two-run home run in the first inning.
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NLCS Game 3: Mookie Betts steals second base.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson attends the game.
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NLCS Game 3: The Dodgers Blue Crew holds a flag up before the game.
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NLCS Game 3: Dodgers and Braves players line up before the contest.
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Game 3: The Houston Astros' Kyle Tucker hits a three-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning.
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Game 3: Boston Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo plays a ball off of the Green Monster during the fourth inning.
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Game 3: The Boston Red Sox's Christian Arroyo (right) celebrates with teammate Kyle Schwarber after hitting a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning.
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Game 3: The Boston Red Sox's Kyle Schwarber flips the bat after hitting a grand slam.
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Game 3: Fans watch from Fenway Park.
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NLCS Game 2: Eddie Rosario celebrates his walk-off single.
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NLCS Game 2: Eddie Rosario celebrates his walk-off single.
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NLCS Game 2: Ozzie Albies slides to score a run in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 2: Julio Urias pitches in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 2: Austin Riley reacts after a double in the eighth inning.
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NLCS Game 2: Braves center fielder Guillermo Heredia misplays a ball in the seventh inning.
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NLCS Game 2: Dodgers relief pitcher Alex Vesia reacts after a strikeout in the fifth.
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NLCS Game 3: Corey Seager breaks his bat during the fifth inning.
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NLCS Game 2: Joc Pederson celebrates his two-run homer in the fourth.
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NLCS Game 2: Joc Pederson celebrates his two-run homer in the fourth.
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NLCS Game 2: Joc Pederson celebrates his two-run homer in the fourth.
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NLCS Game 2: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario makes a running catch.
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NLCS Game 2: Max Scherzer in the first inning against the Braves.
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NLCS Game 2: Mookie Betts rounds the bases on Corey Seager's two-run homer in the first inning.
96/150 SLIDES © Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
NLCS Game 2: Gavin Lux steals second base under Ozzie Albies' tag in the first inning.
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NLDS Game 1: The Braves celebrate their walk-off win over the Dodgers.
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NLDS Game 1: Braves third baseman Austin Riley is mobbed by his teammates after his walk off RBI in the ninth inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies scores the winning run in the ninth inning.
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NLCS Game 1: Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies steals second base in the bottom of the ninth inning.
101/150 SLIDES © Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
NLCS Game 1: Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor is tagged out by Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson to end the top of the ninth inning.
102/150 SLIDES © Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
NLDS Game 1: Braves relief pitcher Luke Jackson point to catcher Travis d'Arnaud after getting the final out in the eighth inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Braves relief pitcher Luke Jackson prepares to pitch in the eighth inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor is safe at second for a double in the seventh inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Braves third baseman Austin Riley hits a solo homer in the fourth inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Dodgers catcher Will Smith hits a solo home run in the fourth inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Dodgers pitcher Tony Gonsolin cycles through a pitch.
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NLDS Game 1: A look at Tony Gonsolin's unique cleats with cats on them.
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NLDS Game 1: Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock hits a double in the second inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Dodgers right fielder Steven Souza Jr. strikes out in the second inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Dodgers relief pitcher Phil Bickford jogs back to the dugout.
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NLDS Game 1: Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario scores on a wild pitch in the first inning.
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NLDS Game 1: Braves fans enter Truist Park.
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ALCS Game 2: Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez and third baseman Rafael Devers celebrate their 9-5 win.
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ALCS Game 2: Astros shortstop Carlos Correa reacts after hitting a single in the fourth inning.
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ALCS Game 2: Astros fans celebrate.
117/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 2: Astros second baseman Jose Altuve looks on during the eighth inning.
118/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 2: Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez celebrates with third baseman Rafael Devers after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning.
119/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 2: Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers celebrates his grand slam with his teammates.
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ALCS Game 2: Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers hits a grand slam against in the second inning.
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ALCS Game 2: Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia is removed from the game with an injury in the second inning.
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ALCS Game 2: Red Sox designated hitter J.D. Martinez touches home plate after hitting a grand slam in the first inning.
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ALCS Game 2: Astros center fielder Chas McCormick makes a diving catch to rob Red Sox center fielder Kike Hernandez in the first inning.
124/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 2: An Astros fan holds up a sign for shortstop Carlos Correa.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and second baseman Jose Altuve embrace after their win over the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros relief pitcher Ryan Pressly reacts after closing out the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel slides safely past Boston Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki during the eighth inning at Minute Maid Park.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa hits a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa hits a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa reacts after hitting a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrates with first base coach Omar Lopez after hitting a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox.
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ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrates with first baseman Yuli Gurriel after hitting a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox.
133/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa celebrates with Jose Siri after hitting a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox.
134/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve hits a game-tying, two-run home run during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox.
135/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is congratulated by shortstop Carlos Correa after hitting a game-tying, two-run home run in the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox.
136/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez is congratulated by shortstop Xander Bogaerts after making a catch to end the fifth inning against the Houston Astros.
137/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez catches a fly ball during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros.
138/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox right fielder Hunter Renfroe reacts after hitting a one-run double against the Houston Astros during the third inning at Minute Maid Park.
139/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez is congratulated by third base coach Carlos Febles after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against the Houston Astros.
140/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez reacts after making a diving catch with the bases loaded in the second inning against the Houston Astros.
141/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox center fielder Enrique Hernandez makes a diving catch with the bases loaded during the second inning against the Houston Astros.
142/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve slides safely in at home during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox.
143/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado talks with starting pitcher Framber Valdez during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox.
144/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa greets left fielder Yordan Alvarez before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
145/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: The Boston Red Sox's Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez line up before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
146/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros fans pose for a photo before game one against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
147/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Houston Astros fans pose for a photo before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
148/150 SLIDES © Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Fans try to catch a fly ball during batting practice before the game between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
149/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Young Houston Astros fans look on from the stands before the game against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park.
150/150 SLIDES © Thomas Shea, USA TODAY Sports
ALCS Game 1: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora points towards the stands before the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
150/150 SLIDES

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: The Chris Taylor Game: CT3 etches name in Los Angeles Dodgers' folklore (again) after historic night

Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/mlb/the-chris-taylor-game-ct3-etches-name-in-los-angeles-dodgers-folklore-again-after-historic-night/ar-AAPPp8U

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