Kershaw was the Dodgers' starting pitcher to open the postseason each of the past five seasons, but manager Dave Roberts said the decision to have Ryu start Game 1 and Kershaw Game 2 "was more of just trying to appreciate that both games have equal importance, and what we can do to put both pitchers in the best position to succeed". Foltynewicz laboured through a 28-pitch first inning and gave up three runs on the Muncy home run after getting two quick outs to start the second.
"I think everyone knows we have our hands full", said Freeman, who was 1 for 4.
A Braves team that finished 18 games below.500 past year and burst upon the scene in 2018 is actually the one with more predictability surrounding it in a series against the defending National League champions.
Despite vastly different lineups in the second half depending on whether they are facing a right-handed pitcher or a lefty, the Dodgers still managed to hit an NL-leading 235 home runs. It's just that lots of people tend to remember the bad and it's apparently more fun to say "LOL playoff Kershaw" than it is to accept that bad outings against good teams happen on occasion.
"A guy with his pedigree and his track record, we're pretty excited to have him going tomorrow night", Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said of Kershaw.
As noted, the Braves are down 0-2 in this best-of-five NLDS, which means they'll need to win three straight in order to advance to the NLCS.
Cable and satellite subscribers can watch the NLDS Game 2 live stream at Fox Sports Go by logging in with their provider credentials.
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Rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. struck out twice and went 0 for 4 as the Baby Braves were blanked.
Part of that is the Dodgers do not have the same bullpen they did a year ago as Brandon Morrow moved on to the Cubs in free agency, but one would hope another portion is due to the fact the bullpen was so exhausted at the end of the World Series last year. Kershaw also walked three batters and despite the good run support he received, it was a struggle. He got out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the first by striking out Yasiel Puig.
Acuna's a true five-tooler, and at least two of those were on display in Game 2.
"If you don't have your fastball command, they're going to spit on a lot of things, which they did tonight", Foltynewicz said. Puig was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts and a walk on Thursday night.
David Freese added a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for the Dodgers' final run.
No, he didn't strike out many, but Kershaw's deep repertoire allows him to keep hitters off balance despite declining velocity.
Relievers Caleb Ferguson, Alex Wood and Dylan Floro completed the shutout.
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