LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Dodgers need a win. After a Game 1 shellacking at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers could use good pitching mixed in with some timely hitting in Game 2. Los Angeles didn’t get that in Game 1.
The first game of the National League Division Series (NLDS) between the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks was over just as quickly as it had started. Pitcher Clayton Kershaw was on the mound for the Dodgers. The only problem is that Kershaw didn’t stick around too long.
Maybe this is a sign of the times for the future Hall of Famer. Kershaw is considered to be an all-time great. He has won three Cy Young awards. He’s a 10-time MLB All-Star. He’s won a World Series.
But in Game 1 against Arizona, Kershaw could not buy an out. The Diamondbacks showed Kershaw no respect for his baseball pedigree, taking out the longtime pitching ace in the first inning after tagging him with six hits and six runs. That first inning for Kershaw and the Dodgers was literally a batter’s up experience.
Kershaw was gone before he even saw a second out in the inning as the Diamondbacks rolled to an easy 11-2 win in the first game of the National League Division Series. The first inning was brutal for both Kershaw and the Dodgers collectively.
“It was a tough one,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the game. “ I think that obviously, they took a lot of good swings. It seemed like they were on everything he threw up there. There was, I think — the Pham ball was down below and he scooped it, but outside of that I think balls were just up and good pitches for them to hit. They didn’t miss them. Outfield grass and obviously threw a 3-2 slider to Moreno, and that was the big hit of the inning. Usually, Clayton does a great job of controlling, managing damage. And tonight unfortunately we didn’t do that.”
The Diamondbacks now have the edge over the Dodgers in this best-of-five series, meaning the first team to reach three wins will advance to the National League Championship Series (NLCS).
Arizona is now 1-0 with Game 2 on Monday, Oct. 9. In layman’s terms, the Dodgers have to win that ballgame or else go to Arizona down in the series by two games. That would not be good.
What happened to Kershaw in Game 1 was not good and could be an indicator of what is to come. After all the accolades he has received, Kershaw came up short when it mattered for the Dodgers. The longtime pitching ace could not call up his best effort. As a result, he got ambushed by Arizona’s offense.
The Diamondbacks sent five straight batters to the plate in the top of the first inning. They came away with five runs. The first four hitters collected base hits off of an already struggling Kershaw. Arizona got two runs out of the deal.
However, the big blow came when the Diamondbacks’ fifth batter, Gabriel Moreno, blasted a three-run home run off of Kershaw. One run later, Roberts gave Kershaw an early hook. Six runs. Six hits. This was not the start that Roberts and the Dodgers had in mind.
“It was more shocking, I think, that those guys certainly had a great game plan tonight and they executed it,” Roberts would go on to say. “We just never really had a chance to get to Kelly, and pitching with a good-sized lead. And he was attacking us and making us put the ball in play and we just couldn’t do it. I think if you look at it from my perspective, we’re going to come out there on Monday and expect to win a ball game, and didn’t use our highest leverage relievers. We’ve got Bobby going, and it’s going to be a good one.”
Arizona scored three more runs in the second inning to make the advantage 9-0 in its favor. Ladies and gentlemen, that was pretty much the ballgame.
This game was much more than a failure of Kershaw to come through with a sparkling postseason performance. It also speaks to the Dodgers’ inability to be productive on offense as well. The Dodgers managed just four hits in the Game 1 loss. The high order of the Dodgers’ lineup made up of Mookie Betts, Freeman, Max Muncy, and JD Martinez came through with zero hits combined.
All eyes, however, will be focused on Kershaw and his lack of productivity in Game 1. Roberts said there was nothing physically wrong with Kershaw.
“No, no,” said Kershaw. “I thought tonight, if you look at the stuff, the velocity, I thought you didn’t get too much of a look at him, but I thought the stuff was good. Just some mistakes that they capitalized on.”
Kershaw’s bad outing in Game 1 won’t disqualify him from playing again in this series, Roberts remarked.
“I think that if you look at it, he’s going to pitch Game 4. So that’s kind of, I’m sure that’s where his head’s at,” Roberts remarked.
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.