Dodgers Win First Game Against Brewers, Send Kershaw to Mound for Game 2

(Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

The Dodgers did what they needed to do against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday night, scoring more runs than them to win the first game of the Wild Card round. But it wasn’t without some issues.

The Dodgers starter the scoring early, with two runs in the first inning off Brent Suter. Suter couldn’t find the strike zone, and issued five walks in his outing that lasted only 1 and 2/3 innings. Still, they ended the inning with the bases loaded, a common theme to them in the postseason.

Walker Buehler started hot, striking out the side in order in the first inning. He had six strikeouts through three innings. He had good command and his pitches looked sharp.

But then in the fourth inning, Buehler allowed a double to Daniel Vogelbach and homer to Orlando Arcia and then issued a walk. He got the next batter for another strikeout, and that would be all for Buehler. He ended with eight strikeouts over four innings of work, with two walks and three hits for a total of 72 pitches.

Buehler said after the game of his blister, that has caused issues and lead to him not being able to go deep into the game, “it is what it is and we’re managing it”. Not quite what you want to hear from your number one playoff starter.

Fortunately, the Dodgers have pitching depth. The bullpen followed with five scoreless innings of work, lead by Julio Urías, allowing Buehler to be pulled early as to not further aggravate that blister. Urías navigated a little bit of traffic, but made it through three scoreless innings, inducing five strikeouts along the way.

Blake Treinen covered the eighth, allowing a single to Avisail Garcia, but nothing else.

Kenley Jansen came in in the ninth to close out the game. He accomplished that, but was not sharp at all. He got the first two batters, one on a strikeout, but walked ninth batter to get to Christian Yelich. He pulled it together enough to get Yelich to strikeout.

After the game, manager Dave Roberts told reporters, “it was good to see him get the job done. It just didn’t seem like the stuff had the teeth that I’ve seen in recent outings. The cutter didn’t have life in the zone and the breaking ball was cast more than I’ve seen it.”

His last three cutters were only at 87, 87, and 86 mph. Usually they range in the low 90’s. Half of his pitches were not cutters, which is what Jansen has made his living on. Those cutters were the lowest mph he’s thrown all season. He has had an up and down year, so it’s definitely something to watch.

Cumulatively, the Dodgers pitching staff struck out 15 batters, tying a franchise record for most in a nine inning game.

Mookie Betts, who had been mocked for not having had good postseason stats so far, had two doubles in his first two at bats, scoring one and batting in two of the three runs the Dodgers amassed in the first two innings.

The Dodgers bats then went silent until Cody Bellinger had a single in the sixth inning, but was quickly erased with an AJ Pollock double play.

Corey Seager hit a homer to straight away center field in the bottom of the seventh to give the Dodgers a much needed insurance run. His homer was 447 feet, the longest at Dodgers Stadium this year. It tied Chris Taylor’s first inning, Game One 2017 WS homer for longest in the postseason at Dodger Stadium since 2015, which encompasses the StatCast era.

The Brewers are not at full strength, having had the elite set up man Devin Williams not make the roster because of an injury, and starter Corbin Burnes is also out with an injury. Ryan Braun left Wednesday night’s game with back tightness.

Game two will be Thursday at 7:08PT. The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound, and he will face off against Brandon Woodruff. The right hander went 3-5 this season with a 3.05 ERA and a 0.991 WHIP.


8 thoughts on “Dodgers Win First Game Against Brewers, Send Kershaw to Mound for Game 2

  1. I totally agree with you Andy. They had a chance early to make this game a blow out and blew it. Rios did hit a long foul that at first looked good. But after the second inning they looked anemic until Seager;s shot. You could see Buehler checking his finger a lot. And Perez, who is another one of those guys riding his father’s fame, implied the Dodgers were cheating because it looked like Buehler had a foreign substance on his finger. He even quoted the rule. I do not think Buehler is the ace of the staff. He obviously could be if healthy. But that has not been the case this year. I am thinking they are going to have to lean on the kids a lot to get where they want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agreed Bear and Andy … with their injuries, the Brewers are arguably the weakest (or one of the weakest) teams in the playoffs. We did not dominate them in any way. I found myself really stressed when Jansen walked the number 9 hitter with Yelich on deck. If we don’t pull it together big time, right now … 2020 will have a very familiar ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, that is the worst part of this. The stress and anxiety when this team does not go out and score at will, When they get into the bullpen, no matter that they were the best pen in the majors, or who comes in, the fans head for the liquor cabinet. Reds, by far one of the worst hitting teams in the playoffs, shut out for the second time and out of the playoffs. Cubs-Marlins postponed.


  3. A’s came back to take the lead after trailing 3-0. Right now up 6-4 in the 6th. I had to laugh when Grandal dropped a pitch costing the pitcher a strike. He said, that is rare, I have never seen Grandal drop a pitch before. I replied to my TV, you obviously have never watched him when he caught for the Dodgers. One inning later, he was called for catchers interference. LaStella, then scored the 6th run on a base hit to left with the bases loaded.


  4. Joc not in the lineup tonight against a RH pitcher. Smith is the DH. Betts, Seager, Turner, Muncy, Smith, Bellinger, Taylor, Pollock, Barnes and Kersh on the hill.,Muncy hitting 4th? Again? How incompetent does a player have to be before he is pulled from the lineup?


    1. I don’t know that Muncy should be pulled, but I think he maybe should be batting 4th. I think that Dave is going best regardless, that’s why Joc is out and a Taylor is steady in. I still think Muncy can pop it more than Joc right now, also. Not ready to give up on Max yet

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I dislike him in the 4 hole. And why not give Joc a shot off of a pure fastball pitcher. He kills those guys. But I know the defense is weaker with Muncy at first. I would rather see Belli there.


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