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Dodgers Take Game Two Behind Kershaw’s Dominance

Dodgers
Oct 5, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) reacts after striking out the final batter of the first inning the against the Atlanta Braves in game two of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Game two of the division series took place Friday night in Los Angeles with the Dodgers already taking game one. Clayton Kershaw took the hill for the boys in blue to face off against Aníbal Sánchez. And it was all Kershaw all night long.

You read that correctly. It was the first time EVER that Kershaw entered the eighth inning of a playoff start. And interestingly enough, he did it with very few strikeouts.

In Greg Maddux fashion, Kershaw came in to pitch the 9th inning with just 85 pitches under his belt. Unfortunately for the fans, Dave Roberts ultimately decided to bring in Kenley Jansen when Tyler Flowers came on to pinch-hit to start the inning. Regardless, one heck of a game from Kershaw. He finished with eight innings pitched, no walks, and three strikeouts.

Jansen closed out the game with a groundout, a popup, and a strikeout.

The Offense

The bats got going in a very similar fashion to the first game of the series. Joc Pederson led off with a ringing double, and almost got left at third base. But Manny Machado came up to bat and crushed a two-run shot into left to take the lead. It was his fourth homerun off of Sanchez in his career.

Yasmani Grandal also went deep, his coming in the fifth inning. That would essentially be it for the Dodgers’ offense, as they only mustered up five hits all game long. The long ball is effective for now, but it will be something to keep an eye on in the playoffs. They left four runners on base and went one for six with runners in scoring position.

Looking Ahead

The Dodgers and Braves are off on Saturday as the two teams head east to take the series to Atlanta. Los Angeles has a chance to close out the series with a sweep behind Walker Buehler who has pitched VERY well recently. His last start came in game 163 on Monday, when he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings and struck out three. The Braves have not yet announced their starter, but the offense may be a bigger concern. They have yet to score a run in the series.

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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.

One Comment

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  1. What the hell is Roberts doing taking out Kershaw when he has the chance for a complete game? Rest for Game 5? Defeatist thinking. Kenley needing a confidence builder save? Not in the playoffs, Dave! Try not to give Clayton an excuse to leave and let the man pitch when he’s cruising.

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