Dodgers 3, Braves 0 – NLDS Game 2: Clayton Kershaw stars with 8 shutout frames

After jumping on the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS for a comfortable win last night, the Dodgers looked to take a commanding series lead tonight. Sending Clayton Kershaw to the mound in order to accomplish that is something they had to feel comfortable in, and he responded with a gem of a performance that made the power outbursts of the Dodgers enough for a 3-0 victory.

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Kershaw being the Game 2 starter in the first place was the big story with the media, but if it impacted him at all, he didn’t show it tonight. After surrendering a lead-off double to start the game, Kershaw then retired 14 straight batters, with the streak being broken up by an infield single. He followed that by retiring nine of the next 10 batters, with the only hitter reaching being Lane Adams on a hit by pitch, and even he was erased by a double play.

Kershaw threw just 85 pitches in his eight shutout innings, and I wish he was given at least a runner in the 9th to complete the shutout. Regardless, he walked nobody and gave up just the two hits and the hit by pitch described previously. While he struck out only three batters, it was hard to say that was a negative tonight, as they swung early in the count and Kershaw induced a ton of weak contact in this gem.

Meanwhile, the offense of the Dodgers begun things with a bang against the Braves in the 1st yet again. This time it was Anibal Sanchez on the mound, and Joc Pederson yanked a double down the line in right to lead things off. After a productive ground out to first from Justin Turner that moved Joc to third, Max Muncy looked to put the ball in play but struck out instead. Thankfully, Manny Machado was there to pick him up, swinging away at a 3-0 pitch and bombing a dong to left-center for a 2-0 lead.

The kid who caught the ball seemed a tad excited.

In the 2nd, the Dodgers had a bit of a threat going after Cody Bellinger drew a walk to start and stole second with one out, but nothing came of it. The bats had another bit of a chance in the 4th after Yasiel Puig singled with one out and stole second with two outs, but they couldn’t capitalize yet again.

The lead was eventually extended in the 5th, and they did it the easy way with Yasmani Grandal starting the frame with a no-doubt dong to right, making it 3-0.

The bats actually didn’t do much else, however. Max Fried, Touki Toussaint, and Arodys Vizcaino threw 3.1 scoreless frames after Sanchez exited, and the Dodgers totaled just five hits and three walks on the night, including going 1-for-6 with RISP.

Nevertheless, that didn’t matter much the way Kershaw was rolling along, and for tonight what the bats provided was more than enough. Kenley Jansen entered to close things out for … uh, confidence? I dunno, but he had a three-run lead to protect, and while he gave up a single, he also got a ground out, pop out, and strikeout to end it.

Looking for a sweep now.

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Joe Davis and John Smoltz is going so well.

Yeah, basically.

lololol

This happened.

Face.

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The victory gets the Dodgers a commanding 2-0 lead in the NLDS against the Braves, and now they’re looking to step on their throat and end things with a sweep. They’ll travel to Atlanta for Game 3, and after a day off tomorrow they’ll get things underway at 2:07 PM HST/5:07 PM PST/8:07 PM EST with Walker Buehler against Kevin Gausman.

About Chad Moriyama

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