Kershaw, Dodgers Win Game 1
ATLANTA – Give Clayton Kershaw a 5-zero lead by the fourth inning, and there’s not much probability he’ll mess things up.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are off to fairly a start within the National League Division Series.
Kershaw struck out 12 during seven dominant innings, Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-1 in Recreation 1 on Thursday night.
The massive-cash Dodgers haven’t gained a World Series championship since 1988 – by far their longest dry spell since the franchise moved from Brooklyn to Southern California in 1958.
In an fascinating twist, Kershaw was born the same 12 months as that the majority recent title. If the ace left-hander keeps pitching the way in which he did in his first postseason win, the Dodgers may need a chance to go all the way in which once more.
“This one positively has particular which means to me,” Kershaw mentioned.
For the bumbling Braves, it was one other dose of October distress.
“When you’ve an opposing pitcher on the mound who’s nearly as good as Kershaw, there’s not a variety of room for error,” stated Atlanta starter Kris Medlen, knocked out within the fifth. “I had quite a lot of error tonight.”
Sport 2 in one of the best-of-5 collection is Friday night time in Atlanta, with Zack Greinke (15-4) beginning for the Dodgers against Mike Minor (thirteen-9).
Kershaw, who had a 1.83 PERIOD through the common season, limited the Braves to Chris Johnson’s run-scoring single with two outs within the fourth. That simply appeared to make the pitcher mad – he struck out Andrelton Simmons to end Atlanta’s only serious menace, and the following 5 Braves hitters for good measure.
Appropriately, Kershaw finished up by hanging out the side within the seventh, matching his season excessive for Ok’s. He allowed just three hits.
“He is the most effective pitcher in baseball,” Gonzalez stated, “and he confirmed it tonight.”
Atlanta struck out 15 times in all.
Even though slugger Matt Kemp is out for the playoffs and Andre Ethier is hobbling with an injured ankle, the Dodgers had no trouble piling up runs in opposition to Medlen, who came into the playoffs driving a five-sport profitable streak.
He gave up 9 hits and 5 runs in four-plus innings, lastly getting the hook when he plunked Yasiel Puig with a pitch right between the shoulder blades.
Of course, Medlen would have fared better if he had gotten any assist from the guys behind him.
The Braves played some really atrocious defense, though they were not charged with an error.
Within the second, rookie left fielder Evan Gattis flopped to the ground in an try to catch a sinking liner, only to look very very like the transformed catcher he’s. The ball, hit by A.J. Ellis, rolled all the way in which to the wall for an RBI double, putting the Dodgers ahead 2-zero on a play that an outfielder with even a modest quantity of experience probably would have grabbed fairly easily.
“I thought there was a pair plays that we might have made,” Braves supervisor Fredi Gonzalez stated. “I believe that the fellows were just a bit amped up.”
Gonzalez began to put it out of attain in the third, driving a pitch over the center-subject wall for his first postseason homer, a two-run shot that made it 4-zero as a sense of doom fell over a Turner Discipline crowd that had been so raucous within the first when Medlen struck out the aspect.
Not that Atlanta followers haven’t seen this all before.
The Braves are maybe best identified for profitable just one World Sequence ring throughout a historic run of 14 straight division titles. Now, they’re already in the gap as they attempt to snap a streak of dropping seven straight postseason sequence since 2001.
At the very least they’re not finished yet.
After dropping to St. Louis in a one-and-done wild-card recreation final season, which was marred by a disputed infield-fly call, the Braves have an opportunity to bounce back this time.
Along with Gattis’ stumbling try at a catch, second baseman Elliot Johnson bobbled Carl Crawford’s grounder main off the third, a play that was generously ruled a success by the official scorer. Medlen retired the next two hitters, but Gonzalez drove the following pitch over the wall, with Jason Heyward making a futile leap that left him hanging from the top.
Heyward, who was moved from proper discipline to middle as part of an outfield reshuffling, had his personal problems. Twice, he overthrew the cutoff man on throws to the plate, allowing runners to advance. Simply to add to Atlanta’s outfield woes, Justin Upton wasn’t even shut on a sliding try when Ellis doubled down the right-subject line in the fourth.
He wound up scoring on Mark Ellis’ two-out single, stretching the lead to 5-0.
Kershaw struggled with command of his fastball but worked extra off his breaking pitches and made it look simple towards the free-swinging Braves.
“Strikeouts just form of happen,” he said. “It isn’t something I am making an attempt to do. I am simply trying to get outs as quick as attainable.”
Gattis, one among Atlanta’s most pleasant surprises through the common season, had a miserable night time in his postseason debut. He ended the second by one way or the other getting doubled off first on a lazy fly to short right subject.
Dan Uggla watched all of it from the dugout. The three-time All-Star was left off the Braves’ playoff roster after a dismal season through which he batted just179 with a franchise-record 171 strikeouts.
Uggla wasn’t the one big-money flop for the Braves, who had to juggle their outfield because of B.J. Upton’s season-long stoop. After signing a 5-12 months, $seventy five.25 million deal during the offseason, he batted just184 and was finally benched late within the year. Merely a backup within the playoffs, he took a referred to as third strike as a pinch hitter within the fifth and walked slowly toward the dugout to a refrain of boos.
“It just obtained away from us,” Braves catcher Brian McCann stated.
The Dodgers put Ethier on their 25-man roster though he probably can be utilized only as a pinch hitter due to an ankle injury. He got here up in that position within the eighth, batting for Kershaw and grounding out to first base… After Medlen struck out the first three hitters of the game, Los Angeles didn’t have another 1-2-3 inning till the seventh towards Braves rookie
began in center area for the Dodgers and drove within the first run with a sacrifice fly in the second…
completed up with one scoreless inning apiece. Jansen struck out the side in the ninth.