Published: Sat, October 06, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

Dodgers to unleash Kershaw on Braves after Game 1 victory

Dodgers to unleash Kershaw on Braves after Game 1 victory

Mike Foltynewicz #26 of the Atlanta Braves prepares to deliver the pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game One of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 4, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. In their 15 2017 postseason games, Dodgers starters pitched at least six innings four times, including three times by Clayton Kershaw.

Kenley Jansen gave up a one-out single to Ronald Acuna Jr. before earning the save.

Los Angeles will go for the sweep Sunday at Atlanta as it aims for its third consecutive NL Championship Series.

"I felt that that was a way that you can use their two best hitters off the bench and get our guy in there", Roberts said. Kershaw will start in Game 2 on Friday.

It was not easy though, the Dodgers were as far as nine games out of first place after losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 9th. It was the first time EVER that Kershaw entered the eighth inning of a playoff start.

If the series goes to a deciding fifth game, Roberts would again have to decide between Ryu and the ace who has been the face of the franchise for years.

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Kershaw (1-0) gave up just two hits and did not walk a batter while recording three strikeouts in an 85-pitch outing.

Yasmani Grandal homered on an 0-2 pitch from Sanchez leading off the fifth to make it 3-0. In fact, I already noticed the backlash against "playoff Kershaw" when Braves wunderkind Acuna led off with a double.

"I wasn't sure how I was going to feel, and I was a little nervous before the game, but there is a lot of experience on this team and that really helped me out", said Muncy, who was playing in his first postseason game.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Bill Russell, the shortstop of the Dodgers record-setting 1973-81 infield, and the team's manager from 1996-98.

Ryu threw a season-high 104 pitches in this one.

Also, with Corey Seager out for the season, Turner presence in the lineup became even more important and the way the Dodgers reacted when he came back from injury says it all.

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Braves manager Brian Snitker said the "changeup was a huge pitch for him, just kept us off balance".

Acuna and fellow rookie Ozzie Albies were held in check, as were veterans Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis.

The Braves are starting Anibal Sanchez, and Puig has crushed righties this year.

"It would be one or two of us", Kershaw said, smiling. "It's just a result of us having a good approach and good at-bats". He came over from Baltimore before the July 31 trade deadline in a six-player deal and was 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts for Atlanta.

Kershaw got bypassed as the Game 1 starter in favour of Ryu after the three-time Cy Young Award victor had started eight of the Dodgers' past 10 post-season openers. He was left off last year's playoff rosters after going 5-9 with a 3.77 ERA.

Buehler, a 24-year-old right-hander, last pitched on Monday, allowing one hit in 6 2/3 innings and striking out three in the NL West tiebreaker victory over the Rockies.

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