Dodgers 6, Braves 0 – NLDS Game 1: Ryu goes 7 shutout in gem, as Joc, Muncy, and Kiké all dong

The Dodgers started their 2018 playoff campaign against the Braves tonight in Game 1 of the NLDS. In front of a raucous home crowd that showed no signs of a hangover from last year, things got off on the right foot thanks to a gem of a start from Hyun-Jin Ryu and three home runs from the bats in a 6-0 rout.

The Braves are a much better team against left-handed pitching, ranking third in the majors in wRC+. Ryu didn’t seem to care much, as he was dominant from start to finish. Ryu allowed just four singles on the night, and he limited the Braves to a grand total of just one plate appearance with a runner in scoring position, with even that coming with two outs. Arguably his best misstep of the night was forgetting the amount of outs in hilarious fashion.

Ryu had command of all his pitches, issuing no walks and providing the Dodgers with seven shutout innings on 104 pitches. It wasn’t just soft contact either, as he ended up striking out eight batters. So much for that so-called controversy about starting him in Game 1. Monster, indeed.

Offensively, the Dodgers didn’t leave Ryu hanging, as things got off to an explosive start immediately with Joc Pederson continuing his 2017 playoff heroics. He started things in the 1st with a dong for an early 1-0 lead.

Justin Turner doubled immediately afterward and then Max Muncy walked, but Manny Machado struck out on a questionable call and Yasmani Grandal went down swinging.

Cody Bellinger got things going again with a walk to load the bases, but Yasiel Puig swung at ball four and struck out to end things.

Fortunately, that run of things didn’t continue. In the 2nd, the bats mounted a two-out rally behind Joc getting hit by a pitch and JT drawing a walk. That brought up surprise hero Muncy, who absolutely annihilated a ball over the wall in center for a three-run dong to break things open a bit at 4-0.

The Dodgers ended up knocking Mike Foltynewicz after just two frames, but struggled against lefties Sean Newcomb and Max Fried, managing just a single and a walk in 3.1 innings versus the duo.

But with two-out in the 6th and now facing Brad Brach, Enrique Hernandez extended the lead with a solo dong of his own to make it 5-0.

Later on, with one out in the 7th, the Dodgers threatened again thanks to JT and Muncy drawing back-to-back walks. However, Brach struck out Machado after a 10-pitch battle as both runners advanced on a double steal, and Jonny Venters entered for the Braves. He proceeded to get Grandal to fly out harmlessly, ending the threat.

In the 8th, more insurance did eventually come against Chad Sobotka thanks to a Puig walk with one out and then an errant pickoff attempt that advanced him to third.

Enrique then followed by drawing a walk and advanced to second on a stolen base. That set things up nicely for professional hitter David Freese, who came up with a pinch-hit sac fly to extend the lead to 6-0.

Of course that zero was still on the board because Caleb Ferguson stepped up in the 8th in relief of Ryu and got a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two in dominant fashion.

Alex Wood, former member of the Braves, was given the 9th in somewhat hilarious fashion. He started by getting a foul out and strikeout, but then allowed a single that just fell in front of Puig and a single that clanked off Muncy’s glove at first.

Unfortunate for him, but that led to Dave Roberts turning to Dylan Floro to close it out, and he got a ground out to end it with the shutout intact.


YES

——

Today was fun.

https://twitter.com/ChadMoriyama/status/1048028144249131009

——

So the Dodgers have jumped out to an all-important 1-0 series lead in the NLDS over the Braves, and they look to take a commanding lead tomorrow as they send Clayton Kershaw to the mound against Anibal Sanchez with the game starting at 3:37 PM HST/6:37 PST/9:37 EST.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times