The Dodgers’ offense jumped all over Mike Clevinger early, and the L.A. bullpen pitched four scoreless innings to lead the Dodgers to a 5-3 win over the Padres on Tuesday in Game 1 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium.
Julio Urias was dominant, until he wasn’t. It was a team effort once again. The Dodgers were prepared for the situation. Without a designated closer since Craig Kimbrel was demoted from the role last month, Dave Roberts has mixed and matched relievers depending on the matchup and situation. So far, it’s working. Should the Dodgers advance all the way to the World Series, we can’t forget to acknowledge their bullpen has been an integral part of the historic success they’ve had this season.
Roberts goes with the same lineup as Game 1.
|5:37 PM||Los Angeles|
|RF||Soto (L)||SS||T. Turner|
|2B||Cronenworth (L)||3B||Muncy (L)|
|LF||Profar (S)||2B||Lux (L)|
|P||Darvish (R)||P||Kershaw (L)|
Clayton Kershaw was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of the 2020 NLDS vs. San Diego. Two years later, the veteran ace will take the ball for Game 2 of the 2022 NLDS Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. This marks Kershaw’s 31st postseason start for the Dodgers in his career. Overall he’s 13-12 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.074 WHIP in 189 postseason innings. The supreme southpaw looks to continue to rewrite his postseason narrative.
Kersh went 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched against the Padres this season. Over the duration of his career, Kershaw has historically dominated the Padres. He’s 23-9 with a 2.03 ERA and 310 strikeouts in 292 innings and 45 regular season starts against San Diego.
Back problems hindered Kershaw again this season. He was placed on the 15-day injured list twice. In May, he landed on the IL with right SI joint inflammation, and in early August he spent a second stint on the IL with low back pain. Although he battled back problems, he continued to be incredibly dominant at home this year. He went 6-0 with a 2.39 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.0.
Old friend Yu Darvish takes the mound for the Padres. None of us can forget — Darvish included — Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Darvish pitched well down the stretch in 2017 for the Dodgers, but his World Series starts that year were nothing short of disastrous. He served up four runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game 3 and five runs in 1 2/3 innings in Game 7.
Tipped pitches and trash can bangers aside, Darvish and the Dodgers would like to move on from the trauma of the 2017 World Series. Darvish was named an All-Star in his first season with the Friars, but hip and back issues lingered for him. He did his best to let bygones be bygones and pitched his best postseason game of his career at Citi Field to beat Max Scherzer and the New York Mets in the Wild Card Series.
Darvish now returns to the scene of the crime (the 2017 World Series). Both starters have a redemption arc they’d like to be on the winning side of.
San Diego didn’t fare well against the Dodgers this season and went 5–14 against them in 2022. As we all know, the postseason is an entirely different beast than the regular season. Nevertheless, San Diego knew they would have to somehow topple the juggernaut Dodgers and all their left-handed pitchers to progress in the playoffs. So far the brown-hued fathers haven’t figured out how to do that yet. The Dodgers seemingly have the upper hand in this series, but you never know what can happen in a five-game set.
First pitch from Dodger Stadium is at 5:37 PM PST on FS1.