Kershaw Enables the Dodgers To Advance NLDS

Thursday, October 1, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Behind an eight-inning masterpiece by Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers will advance to the NLDS after they shut out the Milwaukee Brewers 3-to-0.

At no time during the National League Wild Card series, the Dodgers trailed. Both Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw pitched brilliantly. Although the Dodger offense had not exploded yet this postseason, they scored enough to sweep the Brewers.

Thursday, Clayton Kershaw was vintage Kershaw. In eight innings, he struck out 13 and walked only one. He had marvelous command of all his pitches, particularly his curveball. Using his large rainbow curveball as a changeup, Kershaw messed up the Brewers’ timing. At no time during the game, he was in trouble. He had even a pickoff.

For the first four innings, right-handed Brandon Woodruff dominated the Dodgers. He struck out nine. While the Dodgers attempted to work the count, Woodruff threw strikes that moved at the last moment.

In the fifth inning, Woodruff was visibly tired, so it was not surprising that the Dodgers scored all their three runs during that inning. With one out, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor singled. A fantastic defensive play by Milwaukee third baseman erased Bellinger. Austin Barnes singled in Taylor, and Mookie Betts delivered with a 2-RBI double.

After Kenley Jansen struggled a little bit Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts, who confirmed Jansen would be the Dodger closer throughout the postseason, chose to go the 22-year-old right-handed Brusdar Graterol to pitch the ninth inning. Unlike Jansen, whose velocity would be too similar to Kershaw’s, Graterol’s pitching fooled the Brewers.

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