D-backs 11, Dodgers 2 – 2023 NLDS Game 1: Dodgers get embarrassed as Clayton Kershaw has one of the worst playoff starts ever

The 2023 playoffs introduced themselves to Dodgers fans tonight, providing a reminder that it’s not about fun or excitement or immaculate vibes, but mostly consists of dread and then misery. A franchise and baseball all-time great delivered one of the worst playoff starts in history, the Diamondbacks then piled on a bit, and the offense didn’t show up again to complete the trifecta in a 11-2 loss.

I mean, I guess it’s only one game, right? Right.


Despite being 35 with a shoulder barely hanging on and velocity down a few ticks, Clayton Kershaw went out there tonight because that’s what he does. Maybe he shouldn’t have.

Kershaw was greeted with a Ketel Marte “double” on a James Outman misplay in center, a Corbin Carroll single to score Marte, a Tommy Pham lined single to put a pair on, a Christian Walker double to the wall to score Carroll, and a Gabriel Moreno three-run homer to make it 5-0.

Surely after that Kershaw would settle in, though … right? He did get his first out of the game on a groundout, but then walked Alek Thomas and gave up a double to Evan Longoria to score Thomas and make it 6-0.

That was it for Kershaw, who was just woeful.

Emmet Sheehan then found himself basically getting a start, entering with one out in the 1st and at least managing to keep it at six runs with a strikeout and a groundout.

Unfortunately, the 2nd didn’t go nearly as well for Sheehan. Carroll led things off with a homer to make it 7-0.

A single from Pham followed, Walker got hit by a pitch to put a pair on, and after Jason Heyward made a sliding catch in foul territory for an actual out, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled home Pham. After a walk to Thomas loaded the bases, a sacrifice fly from Longoria made it 9-0 before Sheehan was able to notch a strikeout to end the rally.

Sheehan did manage to keep the D-backs from adding on even more, as he worked around a two-out single and walk in the 3rd, then managed to get a miracle 1-2-3 frame in the 4th that ended his night.

Next up was Shelby Miller, who actually faired quite well, first putting up a two-strikeout, 11-pitch, clean frame in the 5th, and following that up by notching another K in a scoreless 6th, where he allowed just an infield single.

The scoring continued after that, however, as Michael Grove got the 7th but gave up a solo shot to Thomas to make it 10-0.

Oh right, the other side of the game.

0, that’s the amount of times Merrill Kelly has beaten the Dodgers in his 16 career starts while posting a 5.49 ERA. Well, getting a huge cushion was certainly a great way of breaking the streak

So was his performance, as he wiggled out of early trouble. A two-out Will Smith single in the 1st, a two-out David Peralta double in the 2nd, and a lead-off Miguel Rojas infield single and a one-out Freddie Freeman walk in the 3rd were all stranded by him.

Kelly then retired 11 batters in a row into the 7th, where he issued a lead-off walk and retired one batter before being removed from a stellar start.

No matter, as Joe Mantiply got the last two outs of the 7th and things were moving along.


Alex Vesia was next in the 8th, and he also gave up a solo shot, this one Pham wrapped around the fair pole that made it 11-0.

On the other side, the Dodgers finally broke through against Miguel Castro. He got an out to start the 8th, but then issued back-to-back walks to Mookie Betts and Freeman for the first Dodgers rally since the 3rd. Smith then stepped up and made it their first two runs of the game with a triple down the line in right to cut the lead to 11-2. However, that was all they would get.

The 9th was given to Caleb Ferguson in order to get practice, I guess. He got three groundouts to keep the game moving along.

For the D-backs, it was Luis Frias to close the win out, which he did without issue.


Fucking pathetic.


Well, better win the next one, huh?

Due to scheduling fuckery (MLB not wanting to go head-to-head against the NFL), the two teams will have a day off tomorrow before resuming the series on Monday at 3:07 PM HT/6:07 PM PT/9:07 PM ET. The game will be on TBS and will feature rookie Bobby Miller making his playoff debut against D-backs ace Zac Gallen.

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