After coming away with a close Game 1 victory, the Dodgers looked to close things out against the Brewers in Game 2 tonight.
While the offense took a while to get going, they did eventually get on the board thanks to Mookie Betts‘ protege Austin Barnes and then Betts himself, and that’s all a hilariously dominant Clayton Kershaw needed in a 3-0 win.
Brandon Woodruff came out of the gates blazing tonight, recording eight straight outs before Austin Barnes managed a single in the 3rd. He then got the next five batters as well, but started to tire in the 5th.
With one down, Cody Bellinger blooped a single into center and Chris Taylor followed with a single to center of his own to get a threat going. AJ Pollock then tried his best to kill the rally, rounding on a big hop to third, but after tagging the bag, Luis Urias threw a tough hop to Jedd Gyorko who couldn’t scoop it to complete the double play.
The Dodgers immediately took advantage as Austin Barnes grounded a single up the middle to plate Bellinger and Mookie followed by smashing a double down the line in left to score Pollock and Barnes. 3-0.
Of course, Clayton Kershaw is what needs to be talked about here. Until he wins the World Series, nothing will remove the “choker” label from him, but outings like tonight certain prove he can and has come up with gems when it matters as he was comically dominant.
He faced minor trouble in the 3rd, allowing a single against a shift and a soft ground out that advanced the runner to second, but wiggled out of it without much danger. The same thing happened in the 5th, as he allowed a single, the runner advanced to scoring position on a ground out, and he wiggled out of that as well.
That was about it for the Brewers. Everything was working for Kershaw, his velocity was up to 92-93 at points, his slider was working amazingly with depth, and the curve was on as well, which gives hitters just about no shot.
Kershaw went eight shutout innings on 93 pitches, he allowed just three singles and a walk, picking one of those baserunners off. Then there was the 13 strikeouts, which almost doesn’t tell the tale of the dominance.
Didn’t matter, as after Kershaw’s dominance, for good measure they got Brusdar Graterol in the 9th to close it out with Kenley Jansen having issues with his cutter. He gave up a single, but got a ground out, a fly out, and a fly out.
Dodgers will advance to the National League Divisional Series against the winner of tomorrow’s Padres/Cardinals game.