MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 11:08 pm
Behind Clayton Kershaw’s mastery, the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the Milwaukee Brewers to sweep the best-of-three Wild Card Series with an all-around clean victory, 3-0.
Taking advantage of the shortened regular season and hoping to deliver in his crucial role to his team, Clayton Kershaw went to work for the Dodgers. Kershaw struck-out Avisail García and froze Christian Yelich with the curveball to get things started. Despite Jedd Gyorko’s two-out single, Kershaw pitched a very good first frame. Brandon Woodruff, getting the ball for the Brewers, struck-out Mookie Betts and Corey Seager in a quick end to the inning. It took Kershaw only eight pitches to retire the side in the second, and Woodruff did the same with bookend strike-outs of Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger. Luis Urías led-off the third with a base hit, and he advanced on a soft ground-out. With a second strike-out of García, Kershaw managed to escape unscathed and keep the game scoreless. A good at-bat from Austin Barnes resulted in a single with two-down, but Woodruff got Betts looking to work around it. Kershaw and Woodruff traded perfect halves in the fourth, each with two strike-outs swinging. Keston Hiura began the fifth with a knock, but Kershaw responded with bookend strike-outs to strand him. Bellinger, with a good piece of hitting, pushed a base hit up the middle with one-away in the home half. Chris Taylor followed with another hit into center, giving LA their first opportunity. Woodruff got AJ Pollock to ground into a potential inning-ending double-play; however, Gyorko couldn’t handle the throw to 1st, giving the Dodgers a second chance. Impressively battling with two-strikes, Barnes softly singled through the middle infielders to get LA the all-important first run. Subsequently, Betts attacked a fastball and ripped it down the line, bringing home two more to put the Dodgers in front 3-0. Josh Hader relieved Woodruff and struck-out Seager to keep Betts at 2nd. Now pitching with a lead, Kershaw promptly struck-out the side in the sixth. Hader worked a 1-2-3 frame to send the game to the seventh. Kershaw finished a spotless, and very quick, frame with a punch-out of Hiura. Bellinger battled in the bottom half with a couple of nearly productive protective swings, but he struck-out looking. Taylor punched a base hit the opposite way, and Joc Pederson pinch-hit for Pollock, but grounded into a double-play. After a three-pitch strike-out, Kershaw issued his first walk to Urías with one-down in the eighth. In a two-two count to David Freitas, Kershaw caught Urías off guard, picking him off for the second out. On the next pitch, Kershaw got Freitas swinging to conclude a career defining outing. In his finest postseason performance, Kershaw was extremely efficient, with his curveball sharp, his fastball on point, and the slider utilized to keep hitters off balance. His final line: 8IP, 0ER, 3H, 1BB, 13K and the W. Betts walked in LA’s half, but that was all. Brusdar Graterol was given the ninth, and he allowed a leadoff single, but got the next three outs to end the ballgame.
The boys in blue beat the Brew Crew for a second straight night to survive the Wild Card Series. The win advances them to the National League Division Series in Arlington, TX, where they’ll play host, well, sort of, to the winner of tomorrow’s Cardinals / Padres decider. The Dodgers get the job done at home with great pitching and solid offense, and they’ll fly to Dallas tomorrow before entering the MLB Playoff Bubble. Monday will be game one of the NLDS, and LA’s starter is undetermined. After four innings yesterday, it could be Walker Buehler on short rest. More likely, they’ll rely on the duo of Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May, with Buehler getting the ball in game two with Kershaw to follow in game three. The outcome of tomorrow’s game in San Diego, of course, delays any further information. We’ll see you from the bubble on Monday! Go Dodgers!
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