NLDS Game 1, Dodgers 6, Braves 1: Pay Kershaw the Dollars

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Here’s how well tonight went: Don Mattingly got a severe case of the stupids in the fifth, bunting Juan Uribe with two men on, and it doesn’t even register as a complaint because everything else went so well.

Normally, that sort of thing would matter. Tonight? Not at all, not when the first game of the NLDS was everything we hoped it would be and more — and that’s saying a lot considering how absolutely dominant Kris Medlen looked in striking out the side in the first.

But Medlen’s success didn’t last all that long, because he gave up three hits in the second, including A.J. Ellis‘ first double of the night — and a Skip Schumaker sac fly that pushed across the first run — two more in the third, coming when Adrian Gonzalez crushed a ball out of the park to dead center field, and another in the fourth when Mark Ellis singled home A.J., who had reached on his second double. After looking so good in that first inning, Medlen allowed 10 baserunners over just four innings, and every Dodger starter other than Schumaker ended up with a hit — and he walked and had that run-scoring sac fly.

As if Medlen struggling wasn’t bad enough, the Braves were busy shooting themselves in the foot, by which I mean, “having their outfield do all the dumb things everyone was afraid Yasiel Puig would do.” On Schumaker’s sacrifice fly in the second, center fielder Jason Heyward threw home attempting to get Puig even though it was clear he had no shot, allowing Juan Uribe to advance to second; Uribe then scored on Ellis’ double. Evan Gattis hilariously flopped on the play, as I showed via GIF earlier, and also got himself doubled off first on a ludicrously poor base-running decision.

I tell you, those Braves just need to learn to play the game the right way.

That meant that the Braves were down 5-0 to Clayton Kershaw, and that’s just never, ever a good place to be in, especially not on a night like tonight. The funny thing is, Kershaw appeared to be struggling with his curve for the first few innings, and he was still making the Braves look silly. How many times have we said that “he wasn’t at his best” this year, then still had him throw seven or eight shutout or one-run innings? If that’s not true greatness, I don’t know what is.

Kershaw struck out 12 Braves, the third-most whiffs in Dodger playoff history, including Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, Elliot Johnson, and Freddie Freeman twice apiece, and it’s difficult to accurately give him the accolades he deserves here. At one point he struck out six in a row; he finished his night off by whiffing nine of eleven. He didn’t have his best stuff, and he did that. It’s unbelievable.

Really, I’m not sure anything sums up the night better than this Braves fan reaction to one of Kershaw’s ridiculous pitches, helpfully supplied by DCLAguy:

Yeah, that’s right — we bask in your sadness. And the Dodgers are up 1-0, with Zack Greinke on the mound tomorrow.

700 comments
GinFizzBear
GinFizzBear

I feel another Dodger win a-coming on!

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

JUST PRINTED MY TICKETS FOR GAME THREE. I AM EXCITE.

Disgruntled Goat
Disgruntled Goat moderator

Wow. So that was fun. I half-woke up early this morning due to cativities on the bed, remembered the game, and couldn't go back to sleep. Soooo good. 

Jeremy_N
Jeremy_N

I just had a thought. So Magic said that he would wear a dodger speedo if the team wins the world series. Do you think that the team has a cardboard cut out of Magic in the locker room, a la Major League, and removes a piece of his clothing with every playoff win? Don't judge me...

DBrim
DBrim moderator

ARod is suing MLB, guns blazing. Suddenly this has gone from tedious to throughly entertaining.

TaintsnifferMcGillicutty
TaintsnifferMcGillicutty

Spend big on new buildings for niche subjects.........

......no toilet paper in the restroom/doors don't close/no ass gaskets/no soap in dispenser.

moneynow27
moneynow27

I wonder if SVS will get the start tonight in LF vs. Minor.

Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

I am exhausted today and my coworkers are being annoying tits... but we won. So that is pretty cool.

SummerSaint
SummerSaint

One of the pleasant surprises from last night was that the broadcast team wasn't all that bad. They said some wrong stuff, of course, but for the most part I thought their analysis was at least decent. And Ron Darling got major bonus points when he asked Cal Ripken what he knew about taking time off.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

I will be finding Mike and removing my mask to reveal my true identity. He deserves to know.

zeroami
zeroami

*girl. I have a daughter. she is in the picture. i suck at words.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@DBrim I found it entertaining the day he announced he was going to play instead of accepting the suspension. Good for him, innocent until proven guilty right?

DBrim
DBrim moderator

This is the right move, but I think the odds of it happening are slim.

KMT59
KMT59

@Batted Bob If you are in reserve we should hook up the 6/22 power

moneynow27
moneynow27

@DBrim 

Why, do you think Donny will just stick with Crawford, even vs. the LH?

DBrim
DBrim moderator

Should've gotten Keith Hernandez, instead.

KMT59
KMT59

@Batted Bob @KMT59 so mike and I are on the same side while you and dave are on the other side...coincidence...I think not (incredibles.gif)

KMT59
KMT59

@Batted Bob @KMT59 I'm upper reserve way down the left field line for this one (53)..29 and 25 for games 1 and 2 of the NLCS

ThtsaPaddlin
ThtsaPaddlin

@Batted Bob @KMT59 I'm in Reserve 60 for the game on Monday (if necessary).  I've always wanted to sit in that seat in the corner of the upper reserve furthest from everything just to see what it's like.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@ JohnM @Batted Bob @KMT59 I will endeavor to make this happen. I am sure Dave will be easy to find, being a giant ginger who I have seen many photos of. Mike might be a little more difficult. KMT I have not seen but I will try to find as well.

Batted Bob
Batted Bob

@KMT59 Dave is in section 8 (of course) and Mike is in 27. MSTI is taking over the reserve level. Fun fact: the reserve level at Dodger Stadium has more seats than Staples Center.