Ignited by the exciting play of Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the Atlanta Braves, 5-1, midway through Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Unsurprisingly, the supremely talented outfielder appears to be embracing the spotlight of the postseason.
Once Puig got the team going in the second inning with the opening run, Adrian Gonzalez added some breathing room with a two-run shot to center field in the third inning. Gonzalez jumped on a first pitch change-up from starter Kris Medlen, driving it just over the center field wall to give L.A. a 4-0 lead.
A.J. Ellis hit his second double of the night in the fourth and scored on a Mark Ellis single as the Dodgers' lead expanded to five. Considering the man on the mound for Los Angeles, the lead bodes extremely well for the road team:
Dodgers when scoring 4 runs in a Clayton Kershaw start this season are 14-1 (Kershaw is 11-0)— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) October 4, 2013
Kershaw did get into some minor trouble in the third, losing control of his fastball for a stretch. He walked Andrelton Simmons to lead off the inning and allowed him to reach scoring position on wild pitch to Elliot Johnson. He then fell behind pitcher Kris Medlen in the count, 3-0, before rallying to strike him out.
The Dodgers lefty escaped that inning unscathed but lost command of the strike zone again in the fourth. Kershaw followed up a Freddie Freeman single with a four-pitch walk to Evan Gattis with one out in the inning. This time, the Braves were able to make him pay for the lapse of control, picking up their first run of the game on an RBI single from Chris Johnson. Kershaw continued to labor but managed to strike out Simmons and avoid extra damage.