Dodgers' Will Smith gets the better of Braves' Will Smith in MLB postseason first

Dan Mennella
October 17, 2020 - 6:23 am

An unprecedented coincidence provided an unusual historical footnote to one of the pivotal at-bats of Friday night's Dodgers-Braves playoff game.

Dodgers catcher Will Smith stepped up to the plate with two runners on base in the sixth inning in Game 5 of the NLCS -- against Atlanta reliever Will Smith.

The Dodgers' Smith prevailed over his namesake, cracking a three-run bomb off the Braves' Smith that gave Los Angeles the lead for good as they narrowed their series deficit to 3-2.

The rarity was a first in the long history of MLB's playoffs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

With his team down a run in the sixth, the Dodgers' Smith, a 25-year-old former first-round draft pick, came up with two men on base. With the count full, Smith reached down and golfed a low slider into the left-field bleachers, providing his team with what proved to be the go-ahead hit.

The Dodgers backstop tried to play it cool with reporters after the game.

"It's a common-enough name," he said.

The backstop is proving to be an impact player befitting his status as a top prospect in recent years. In just 333 career regular-season plate appearances, Smith has 23 homers and a nifty .268/.363/.574 slash line.

Atlanta's Smith, a 31-year-old veteran lefty reliever, is in his first season with the Braves after several years with the San Francisco Giants. He broke in with the Kansas City Royals in 2012, and also spent time with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Game 6 was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, with first pitch set for shortly after 4:30 ET.

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