Video Credit: MLB

Recap: Dodgers vs Brewers – NLWCS – Game 2


For the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw the postseason has been the biggest struggle. The future Hall of Famer has been inconsistent at best under the brightest postseason lights. Dodgers’ fans are yearning for their first title since 1988, and once again Kershaw has to be a key for L.A.



Los Angeles Dodgers vs Milwaukee Brewers – Wild Card Series #2


Game 2 – Win 3-0

Dodgers vs Brewers
Photo Credit: LA Times

Kershaw is throwing harder and having more definition to his slider this season. This offseason, he restructured his training regimen, and when MLB shut the season down, he used the time to do even more work and get healthy. That made his 2020 numbers even more impressive. He finished the season 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA, 62 strikeouts, and a WHIP of .84.

Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts has continued to have faith in his ace. He has stood behind him and continues to go to bat for him, despite his postseason woes. So on Thursday night, when Kershaw toed the slab for the Dodgers, Roberts knew he was getting the best Kershaw we have seen in years, and Kershaw didn’t disappoint.


Kershaw and Brewers’ starter Brandon Woodruff were dealing early and often at Chavez Ravine


Through the first four innings of the game, both pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts, four hits, and a ton of frustration for the hitters. Both starters kept the opposing team off-balance and guessing at the plate. 2020 NL MVP candidate Mookie Betts and the reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich were a combined 0-4 with five strikeouts in their first two respective at-bats.


Dodgers vs Brewers
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

But at the bottom of the fifth inning, the Dodgers seemed to start to figure it out. It got started with a one-out single by Cody Bellinger, followed by another single by Chris Taylor. AJ Pollock hit a one-hopper to third base where Bellinger was forced out, but Luis Urias didn’t have the arm strength as he short-hopped a throw to first base and was unable to throw out Pollock.

Austin Barnes made the Brewers pay. Barnes took a couple of close pitches and fouled off a pitch before collecting his second hit of the game on Woodruff, this time a 2-2 pitch right back up the middle to score Taylor, giving LA a 1-0 lead. The next batter up was Betts, who promptly ripped a double, scoring both Pollock and Barnes to give Kershaw and the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. It also led to the Brewers pulling Woodruff (who was also ejected walking off the mound after being upset at what he felt was a missed call by the home plate ump).

Josh Hader came in and promptly struck out Corey Seager to end the fifth inning.


But the story of the game was Kershaw. He was in complete control and command all night long. His fastball had good movement, there was great break on his curveball, and his changeup was damn near unhittable.



Photo Credit: LA Times

Kershaw went back out in the top half of the 7th inning, an inning that has historically given him trouble in postseasons past. The Dodgers ace cruised through the inning, throwing only eight pitches (just 80 pitches at that point), including his 11th strikeout of the night. He was in rhythm all night, pitching with pace and definitiveness. The Brewers had no shot at the locked-in Kershaw.

In the eighth inning, Kershaw tied his postseason career-high with 12 strikeouts, which happened in the NLDS in 2012. After a walk to Urias, his first of the game, Kershaw picked him off at first four pitches later, and on the next pitch set a postseason career-high, 13, by striking out David Freitas.

That would be the end of the night for Kershaw, who went eight strong innings, striking out 13 and walking only one Brewer. The flame-throwing Buster Graterol came in to close the game out for the Dodgers.

Did this exercise the demons of postseason past? No, it doesn’t. Kershaw and the Dodgers know that he has to come up big in the World Series to do that. But this is a great confidence builder as we advance in the postseason, and it also allowed the Dodgers to rest their bullpen for a few more days.



The Dodgers will now play on Tuesday, October 6th against the winner of the San Diego Padres vs St. Louis Cardinals series winner.

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Joe Arrigo

Twitter: JoeArrigo

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