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.
Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2. Ryu will start Game 3.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) October 3, 2019
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.