It was a great start to the postseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta on Thursday night:
* An 11-hit attack, powered by Adrian Gonzalez’ two-run homer in the third inning, A.J. Ellis’ two doubles, and Yasiel Puig’s and Mark Ellis’ two hits apiece, which was more than enough for…
* Clayton Kershaw, who turned in a performance for the ages on the mound in seven innnigs of work, the Dodger ace scatterd three hits while striking out 12 Braves in the Dodgers’ 6-1 victory in Game One of the National League Division Series.
Those 12 strikeouts were the most for a Dodger pitcher in – get this – 50 years, as the last time anyone in Dodger blue struck out at least that many in the postseason was in the 1963 World Series, when Sandy Koufax struck out 15 New York Yankees in Game Gne of that Fall Classic.
43, 021 Braves fans at Turner Field were understandably disappointed, and to be quite honest have good reason to worry as L.A.’s other ace, Zack Greinke, will take the hill in Game Two on Friday.
Greinke’s numbers were just as good as Kershaw’s in the regular season, going 15-4 with a 2.63 earned run average, so Dodger fans have just as good a reason to be confident as Brave fans have to be concerned.
It’s always a team’s goal in the playoffs to, at minimum, split their games on the road; the Dodgers, due to Clayton, Gonzalez, and company, have already accomplished that.
If L.A. can get as good a performance from Greinke, they can come back to Dodger Stadium on Sunday and Monday needing just one win to move on to the National League Championship Series, the NLDS being a best-of-five affair.But hopefully, no Dodger – fan or player – is counting their chickens before they hatch, so to speak; there’s a reason why the Braves won the National League East by a huge margin, winning more games than the Dodgers’ 92 in the process.
Stay humble and stay hungry, my Dodger friends.
TV & GAME TIME FOR GAME TWO: TBS, 3:00 p.m.