Mak­ing twin killings

Sim­i­lar shutouts to start se­ries has Dodgers in con­trol

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Beth Har­ris

LOS AN­GE­LES — With Sandy Ko­ufax sit­ting in the front row, Clay­ton Ker­shaw pitched the best post­sea­son game of his ca­reer, mo­ti­vated partly by be­ing passed over as the Dodgers’ Game 1 starter.

He re­sponded with a post­sea­son ca­reer-high eight in­nings of two-hit ball in his team’s sec­ond straight play­off shutout, and Manny Machado slugged a two-run homer as the Dodgers beat the Braves 3-0 on Fri­day night for a 2-0 lead in their NL Divi­sion Se­ries.

“I think that it was one of the best out­ings that I’ve seen,” Dodgers man­ager Dave Roberts said. “He was in com­plete con­trol.”

The Dodgers used a nearly iden­ti­cal for­mula to win 6-0 in Game 1 be­hind Hyun-Jin Ryu — who al­lowed only four two-out sin­gles over seven in­nings — and home runs by Joc Ped­er­son, Max Muncy and En­rique Her­nan­dez.

Ker­shaw was even bet­ter. The left-han­der struck out three and walked none in the long­est score­less play­off out­ing for a Dodgers pitcher since Jose Lima tossed a com­pletegame shutout in Game 3 of the 2004 NLDS against the Car­di­nals.

“Maybe a tick, for sure,” Ker­shaw said of earn­ing some ex­tra sat­is­fac­tion. “But Ryu threw so un­be­liev­able last night that you just want to match him. That’s all I was try­ing to do.”

Ryu and Ker­shaw be­came the sec­ond pair of Dodgers starters to have con­sec­u­tive post­sea­son games with seven-plus score­less in­nings. Jerry Reuss G1: G2: G3: G4: G5: and Burt Hooton did it in 1981 against the Astros and Ex­pos.

The Dodgers joined the 1921 Yan­kees as the only teams to open a post­sea­son se­ries with back-to-back shutouts, ac­cord­ing to STATS. They recorded their first con­sec­u­tive shutouts since Games 2 and 3 of the 2016 Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries against the Cubs.

The Dodgers can sweep the best-of-five se­ries in Game 3 on Sun­day in At­lanta, where the Baby Braves will be look­ing to score for the first time this post­sea­son.

“I see the frus­tra­tion those guys have against this guy,” Braves starter Ani­bal Sanchez said of his team­mates fac­ing Ker­shaw.

Ker­shaw got by­passed as the Game 1 starter in fa­vor of Ryu af­ter the three-time Cy Young Award win­ner had started eight of the Dodgers’ last 10 post­sea­son open­ers. Roberts said it was done to give both Ryu and Ker­shaw five days of rest be­tween starts.

“This guy is a po­ten­tial Hall of Fame player,” Roberts said. “So to have the noise around him, but when it comes to his day to start and to help his club win a game, I had no con­cern that any­thing was go­ing to af­fect him.”

One more vic­tory would put Los An­ge­les in the NLCS for the third straight year. The Dodgers beat the Cubs last sea­son and lost to them in 2016.

“A lot of great plays all the way around,” Ker­shaw said.


Clay­ton Ker­shaw felt good about man­ager Dave Roberts’ de­ci­sions af­ter the Dodgers’ back-to-back shutouts.

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