The Los Angeles offense got its motor running early in Game 1 of the NLDS on Thursday night when Joc Pederson took Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz deep to center field in the bottom of the first inning. From there, it was a night of domination for the NL West Champs, as the Dodgers blanked the Braves, 6-0.
After Pederson was hit by a pitch and Justin Turner walked in the bottom of the second frame, Max Muncy launched a shot to deep center field, extending the Los Angeles lead to four runs. Enrique Hernandez, in the role of the primary second baseman, connected on a long ball to center field which stretched the lead to five in the bottom of the sixth.
The Dodgers added an extra bit of insurance in the bottom of the eighth inning when Yasiel Puig scored on a David Freese sacrifice fly to right field.
Not to be overshadowed by the muscle of the offense, starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu was nothing short of brilliant. The lefty threw seven shutout innings while surrendering just four hits. He walked none and struck out eight batters.
Atlanta posed a light threat in the top of the fifth inning when Ender Inciarte and Charlie Culberson hit back-to-back singles with two outs; however, Ryu came right back and coaxed a Kurt Suzuki flyout to right to end the inning.
The Dodgers exploited Foltynewicz early, so much so that Braves manager Brian Snitker yanked his starter after two innings, seemingly opting for a strategic move, bringing in southpaw Sean Newcomb to face a primarily left-handed hitting Los Angeles lineup. But it wouldn’t matter, as Atlanta was unable to mount any type of significant offensive attack the entire evening.
In total, the Braves used six different pitchers.
In relief of Ryu, Caleb Ferguson pitched a perfect eighth inning. Alex Wood, despite allowing two baserunners with two outs, combined with Dylan Floro to toss a scoreless ninth and secure the shutout.
The best-of-five series will continue on Friday evening when the Dodgers send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound to oppose Atlanta righty Anibal Sanchez.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:37 PM Los Angeles time.
13 thoughts on “Ryu, Dodgers Cruise Past Braves in NLDS Opener”
Good start, one down 14 to go. Ryu was outstanding.
Dennis, now that the Braves used Newcomb, who will start the other games for them?
I don’t think they’ve committed to anything past Sanchez in Game 2.
I think Gausman has been penciled in for Game 3. He’s been very good since he came to Atlanta, but he’ll be facing Buehler. Has anyone seen an explanation as to why Stripling was left off the roster? I’m assuming it’s either injury or ineffectiveness in recent outings, but wouldn’t you think if you leave your best first half pitcher and an All Star Game participant off of your playoff roster that it at least deserves some sort of explanation?
Roberts said the final spot came down to a decision between Stripling and Floro. Added that Madson was a lock all along because of his ability to “miss bats.”
OK, at least Roberts spoke to it. Can’t even say I disagree but I bet Stripling wasn’t happy. That was a pretty quick fall from the heights.
Pretty much the same deal as last year. His arm was about dead when the postseason rolled around. Still feel bad for the guy, considering all his contributions this year.
He’s pitched about 50% more innings this year than he did last year and about 20% more than his previous high. I haven’t checked any numbers so I could be totally wrong here but it seems as though the bullpen as a whole is not as overworked going into the playoffs as it was last year. Stripling might be one of the exceptions.
Last 28 days – Hitters OPSn over 1.000 against him. Last 14 days – 1.184. Last 7 days – 1.683. This was an easy call folks.
Newcomb starting for Atlanta in Game 3.
Kemp, Taylor and maybe Dozier get to start a playoff game. Doc doesn’t have to give them a simulated game today as previously scheduled. That Snitker is sure accommodating.
There could be a few Los Angeles relievers who need a sim game by the time the NLCS rolls around. Call in the Tulsa kids and set-up a little scrimmage, I say.
Stripling – check his splits.