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Dodgers Postseason: Clayton Kershaw Set to Take the Ball in Game 2

Look to the GOAT.

Dodgers
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 08: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers makes his way to the dugout prior to a MLB baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

For many years in a row — 5 to be exact — when Clayton Kershaw took the mound in a postseason game, he never had a 1-0 series lead. Now, after a 6-0 shutout victory, the Dodgers ace is doing it for the second year in a row. Notably, Hyun-Jin Ryu started game 1 against the Atlanta Braves in the 2018 NLDS.

Kershaw is lined up for the game 2 start against Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg tonight at Dodger Stadium. This matchup was announced by the club yesterday.

The Dodgers lefty is coming off a tune-up outing — a classy one at that — on the final day of the regular season. Moreover, he’s coming off a season where he compiled a 16-5 record with a 3.03 ERA and 189 strikeouts in 29 games (28 starts).

Where the two clubs contrast greatly is in the arms that follow the starters. In game 1, three different Dodger relievers divvied up 3 innings and allowed 1 hit on only 38 pitches. On the other hand, National relief arms labored through 66 pitches over 3 innings while allowing 4 runs. With Strasburg already coming in on short rest after a 3 inning outing in the NL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the weak National bullpen will be even further tested.

Back to Kershaw, he allowed 2 earned runs in 6 innings pitched in his lone start against Washington this season. Beyond that, the last time Kersh faced the Nats in the postseason, he produced one of the more iconic moments of his career.

Kershaw will be going for his fourth NLDS win in his last 4 decisions dating back to 2016.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

3 Comments

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  1. Ryu should’ve pitched at home where he’s been great and I’m not saying this because Kershaw folded again it just makes the most sense

  2. We are good at the regular season becasue we play so-so teams, so often, maybe 16 times each per year. By playing those teams so often, you will have a winning record. You’re beating okay team, a lot of times. It’s the short series, against good teams, that show our short-comings. I think that has been the case for Kershaw. A fantastic regular season pitcher. What makes him good is also his downfall. He has his routine and is very predictable. So much so that when he is knocked off his routine, he becomes shaken. That is the superstition of baseball. That is why pitchers like him can at times tip his pitches. Kershaw’s windup is not a windup, but a stance. Opposing teams study film as much as the FBI studied the JFK Zapruder film. We need to study our own players as much as they do, i.e. Darvish.

    • Poorly run organization. Other teams do just as you said as to not have these things happen to them

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