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Kershaw, Dodgers blank Braves for 2-0 NLDS lead
06 October 2018, 10:42 | Charlene Valdez
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
They were due to host Game 2 yesterday. Kershaw is set to pitch Game 2 on Friday.
Although it had some scratching their heads, the decision by the Los Angeles Dodgers to start Hyun-Jin Ryu over Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NL Division Series paid off big. "There was a lot of soft contact", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. If Kershaw had gone first, he would be on four days' rest, while Ryu would be on six days' rest for Game 2. The only other major league team to open a postseason series with back-to-back shutouts was the 1921 New York Giants.
It is the Dodgers hitters that Sanchez said he is most concerned with facing, not pitching against Kershaw. "I want my teammates to want me out there".
Kershaw had started the opening playoff game in the Dodgers' five previous postseason trips, The Athletic noted. "But as of right now, if everything goes where it is, he'll be the Game 3 starter".
Kershaw said he asked Roberts why he wasn't starting and received an answer. "But, you know, it was just a situation there you get behind against a guy like that, we were just trying to try and stop the bleeding there a little bit".
Ryu is eager to make a mark after not pitching in the postseason since 2014, having been injured for most of the 2015 and '16 seasons.
Buehler made his lone career start against the Braves on June 8 at Dodger Stadium, allowing one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 7-3 victory.
"This year I've pitched with an extra day a lot more than in years past", Kershaw said. He was through eight innings with 85 pitches.
The three-time Cy Young victor registered a 9-5 record with a 2.73 ERA in 26 starts this season.
Ryu had an edge over the final month of the season, posting a 1.88 ERA after overcoming a groin injury. "And I think it led to a game like today's".
If needed, Kershaw could still start Game 5 in Los Angeles on normal rest, so the move allows him to be available twice in the best-of-5 series.
Milwaukee's pitchers took a one-hit shutout into the ninth inning, but then things got away from closing pitcher Jeremy Jeffress. The 34-year-old signed with the Braves during spring training, five days after being released by the Minnesota Twins.
Atlanta had no answer for Hyun-Jin Ryu and the Dodgers bullpen in Game 1 as they lost the series opener 6-0 in front of a hostile crowd.
Under manager Brian Snitker, the Braves went from 72 wins in 2017 to 90 and the NL East title this year, surprising many with the quick turnaround.
Out of the last sixth seasons, this has been the most turbulent one. He became the first Braves runner to reach third base in the series when Johan Camargo grounded out to Kershaw.
What the Braves lack is playoff experience, especially compared to the battle-tested Dodgers.
Statistics indicate pitchers are less effective the third time they face the opposing lineup.
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