You all should know exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to Clayton Kershaw and rumors of his letdowns in the offseason. Although that particular narrative was still on its proverbial deathbed, it was still letting out whispers of life as the Dodgers headed into Game 2 of their NLDS series against the Braves. For starters, the fact that Kershaw was starting Game 2 was a bit of an issue. After all, he may not have had a typical Kershaw-like season in 2018 but you know how most managers are when it comes to the postseason. As long as the traditional ace is still healthy and productive, he’ll start Game 1.
Except Dave Roberts doesn’t really fall into the category of “most managers,” so he gave Hyun-Jin Ryu the ball for Game 1 while Clayton Kershaw was “relegated” to starting Game 2. The decision worked out very well for the Dodgers when Ryu bamboozled Atlanta’s offense in Game 1. So now it was up to Kershaw to keep things rolling and instead of simply keeping things going and continuing in the vein of form that he was in for most of 2018, we got a vintage performance from Clayton Kershaw.
After giving up a leadoff double on the first pitch of the game to Ronald Acuña Jr., Kershaw completely dominated the Braves from that point forward. After Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the first inning to put the Dodgers ahead, the only drama from that point forward was whether or not Kershaw would throw a Maddux game during the postseason. While the prolific strikeout count wasn’t there, the absurdly low pitch count and the rock-bottom walk count was there. Simply put, Kershaw was doing whatever he wanted and the Braves had absolutely no answer for what he was giving them.
Although the fans at Dodger Stadium didn’t get to watch their beloved star go out there and attempt to throw the complete game shutout, I’m sure that the fans could go home satisfied knowing that Clayton Kershaw had led them to another dominating victory and proved that he’s still got some of that dominating ace stuff in his arsenal. Plus, this happened in the month of October and I’d say that the narrative of postseason failure for Kershaw is finally finished. It’s dead and Kershaw himself ended it.
- It seems like absolutely nothing has gone right for Corey Kluber in his last few playoff starts. As Marc Normandin notes, the playoffs are absolutely merciless and teams are taking advantage of every single mistake Cleveland’s starter has made.
- For the second night in a row, not much went right for the Braves. The good news is that Ronald Acuña Jr. had a good night and he ended up making the best defensive play of the day with this impressive diving catch.
- Both the Braves and Rockies will be heading back to their home ballparks with their backs against the walls. The Brewers picked up a shutout of their own as they went up 2-0 in the series with a 4-0 victory.
- The reason why I was talking about Corey Kluber and his mistakes earlier is because the Astros absolutely crushed him – or as the good folks at The Crawfish Boxes put it, he got “klubbed.”
- In the highest-profile matchup of the Divisional Series, the Yankees and Red Sox kicked off their series with an entertaining Game 1. Boston’s bullpen did their best to blow a comfortable lead, but they just about held off the Yankees to go up 1-0.
- Boston and New York will be playing every single game of their series under the bright lights of prime time. That means that every game in the series between Houston and Cleveland will be played in the afternoon. Let’s Go Tribe aren’t fans of the schedule.
- There are only eight teams playing baseball right now, but life goes on for the 22 teams who missed out on this part of the playoffs. The Cubs are one of those teams and Bleed Cubbie Blue thinks it’s time to move on from hitting coach Chili Davis.
- The Cardinals were alive until the final week of the season. Viva El Birdos believes that an offseason spending spree could result in their return to October.
- Angels fans are still saying their farewells to Mike Scioscia, and this is despite the fact that they feel he may have overstayed his welcome by a few years.
- Dan Duquette’s time as the GM of the Orioles has come to an end and as Camden Chat pointed out, the team actually did a bit of a 360 when it came to their fortunes during his tenure.