The Milwaukee Brewers have a 1-0 series lead in the NLCS after beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-to-5. How did they manage to get past Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw?
Clayton Kershaw was supposed to cut through the Milwaukee Brewers lineup like an Aaron Rodgers pass through a defense. He was supposed to carve up the Brewers for eight innings, keep them off the scoreboard, and have everyone wishing for Kenley Jansen to come in from the bullpen. That didn’t happen. Why?
What were the numbers on Kershaw?
Kershaw tossed three innings plus three batters in the fourth inning, and was tagged for five runs, only four were earned. He gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out two. Kershaw needed 74 pitches to throw to 18 batters and record nine outs. Only 21 pitches were outside the strike zone.
He actually took the loss in this one, and now has a career post season record of 8-8.
How did the Brewers get to him?
They actually had help. Yasmani Grandal was the first catcher in Major League Baseball history to make two errors and have two passed balls in a post season game. He was also called for catcher’s interference on a play that would have been an out.
Kershaw also made his own mistakes. On the home run to Brandon Woodruff, Kershaw threw a very straight 92 MPH fastball that Woodruff was clearly sitting on. Other than Woodruff’s blast, every ball that was hit off of Kershaw in play was hard hit. From the ground ball up the middle by Lorenzo Cain in the third to the hard-hit liner to center by Orlando Arcia, the Milwaukee Brewers appeared to square up Kershaw.
He also only walked two batters, but both came at the perfect time for the Brewers. Christian Yelich drew a walk to move Cain into scoring position in the third inning. Cain would later score on a sacrifice fly from Hernan Perez.
Manny Pina lead off the fourth inning with a seven-pitch walk. Pina actually battled back from a 1-2 count, and got Kershaw to throw three pitches outside the zone to earn the walk. Pina later scored on a single by Domingo Santana.
Is this the end of Kershaw in the series?
That’s very unlikely. Even if the Milwaukee Brewers sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers, they’ll still have to face Kershaw one more time.
It’s believe that Kershaw will take the ball in the fifth game, but he only threw 74 pitches in Game 1. If the Dodgers need him in Game Four, he should be available.
The series is set to continue on Saturday in Miller Park with the first pitch at 3:09 PM CST. Wade Miley will take the ball for the Milwaukee Brewers, and he’ll be opposed by Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Hyun-jin Ryu.