Former Fontana A.B. Miller High School star Jesse Chavez has been pitching very well this season for the Atlanta Braves.
That is, until he gave up the winning hit in the Braves’ loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Oct. 19.
In the eighth inning, the Dodgers trailed 5-2 before Cody Bellinger belted a three-run home run off Atlanta pitcher Luke Jackson to tie the score at 5-5. Then, after Chris Taylor of the Dodgers singled, Jackson was removed from the game and Chavez came in to pitch.
Unfortunately for Chavez and the Braves, Taylor stole second base and Mookie Betts bashed a double to right-center, bringing in Taylor with the eventual decisive run in a dramatic 6-5 L.A. triumph.
It was a disappointing return to Chavez Ravine for Chavez, who has been a member of numerous teams in his career, including a stint with the Dodgers in 2016.
However, Chavez came back the next day and pitched one scoreless inning as the Braves' starter, and Atlanta ended up winning, 9-2, to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
Back on Oct. 17 in Game 2 in Atlanta, Chavez was brought in to pitch in the fourth inning and retired the Dodgers in order, and the Braves later went on to win that game, 5-4.
Overall, this has been one of the best seasons Chavez has experienced in recent years. The 38-year-old right-hander compiled a 3-2 record and a 2.14 ERA during the regular season. He struck out 36 batters in 33 innings.
Before the 2021 season started in April, Chavez was signed to a minor league contract by the Los Angeles Angels, but then the Angels released him and he was later picked up by the Braves.