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Dodgers Advance to the Division Series Behind Clayton Kershaw’s Gem

What a game from Clayton Kershaw.



The Dodgers and Brewers went head-to-head once again in game 2 of the Wild Card Series on Thursday night. With Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Woodruff on the mound, it was every bit the pitcher’s duel that we were promised. 

Kershaw vs Woodruff

Both Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Woodruff came out throwing heat in this very decisive game 2. Woodruff cruised for 4 innings before the Dodgers finally broke through against him in the 5th. Austin Barnes knocked a base hit up the middle to drive in Chris Taylor from second. Mookie Betts knocked him out of the game with a 2-run double in the same inning. 

Woodruff was ejected from the game by the home plate umpire after he was already being pulled. The Brewers starter had plenty to say about the ball called on Austin Barnes on his way out. For Clayton Kershaw, it was a much different story. The Dodgers’ co-ace came out firing in his first playoff appearance of the year. 

Kershaw ended his night going 8 shutout innings and striking out 13 Brewers and issuing just 1 walk. Throughout the course of his Dodgers career, Kershaw has had plenty of big games. But the series-clinching performance on Thursday night might have been the greatest we have ever seen from the legendary southpaw. 

Brusdar Graterol came on in relief of Kershaw to close out the game over Kenley Jansen. Jansen went the night before, so it’s possible that he simply was not available. 

Up Next for the Dodgers

The Dodgers will head to Texas at some point this week, though the timeline of when they will travel is not yet clear. They have to wait to see who wins the series between the Padres and Cardinals, who will play game 3 on Friday. 

But your Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the National League Division Series! That series is set to kick off on Tuesday in Arlington, Texas as all teams head to neutral locations.  

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Kershaw rocked. Gatorade finally got to close a game, which he should be doing regularly next season And Mookie was Mookie again, the best in baseball. And a whole lot of other guys need to start hitting, which is easier said than done.

    A lot of people were saying it doesn’t matter who pitches in the postseason. We’ll just score 10 runs per game. They were wrong. The postseason doesn’t work that way. The best pitchers in baseball are on the mound now. The Dodgers are averaging 3.5 runs per game. This is where Betts’ consistency and small ball ability really shine. There will be some break out offensive games down the line, but small ball wins championships, and Betts is a champion at small ball.

    This could be the year that Kershaw shuts everyone up about his postseason troubles. I hope so. I think he may have pitched with a chip on his shoulder because Buehler got the first start. If so, he should keep that chip there until the Dodgers win it all. No relief appearances this time. Just focused dominant starts

    Go Dodgers!

    • Through the season I track the starters and drae up the rotation for the uocoming week or 2. Seems fairly simple, write in the names every 5 days. But it never works out that easy with days off, injuries, 6 man rotation and Doc’s contant maneuvering. But when Buehler went on the IL it sdt him up to pitch the night before Kershaw and exactly in line to pitch thd first game on regular rest and Kershaw the second gsme on regular rest. If Doc had switched them around for the playoffs Kershaw would have been pitching on short rest and Buehler on extra rest.
      I give Doc credit for not messing with that schedule AND for using Graterol to close.

  2. Walker got the start because of his blister.,.Kersh got the closeout because he could pitch longer.

  3. Keyshawn pitched a great game but the most he should have pitched was 6 innings. They will need him more down the road. He is no spring chicken. Every time he goes too long his next game is not good over the last few years. 80 + pitches are too much. If you can’t trust your ball pen they shouldn’t be on the roster!

  4. Good performance by a team capable of even more like this. But the fact is that this series should not have been a requirement to advance into the NLDS. All six division winners should have advanced as a reward for their play over the 60 game season. This includes the Cubs and Twins who have been cheated out of their earned placement. Otherwise, what is the reward to finish first? Then if the commissioner wants to run a 10 team (ridiculous number) free for all Wild Card series to placate TV networks, it’s fine I guess.

    The only reward in this has been to finish second, where a team can have an equal footing and doesn’t even need to have a winning season as the Houston Asterisks have done.

    The entire narrative is as Kershaw said about the even dumber extra inning rule from the Commish, “It’s not real baseball” and neither is this Wild Card series.

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