Clayton Kershaw will start NLCS Game 1 for Dodgers

first_imgATLANTA — Order has been restored.The Dodgers broke with expectations and started Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1 of their National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, not Clayton Kershaw.They won’t do that again.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Monday’s victory over the Braves that Kershaw would start the team’s next playoff game whether it was Game 5 against the Braves or Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “Looking forward to it,” he said.Asked if he took any special pride in once again being the team’s Game 1 starter, he wouldn’t admit to it.“No, I don’t know. I want to pitch,” he said. “I’m pitching Game 1. That’s great.”It’s likely Kershaw and Walker Buehler will start Games 1 and 2 (both on extra rest) at Miller Park with Ryu held back to Dodger Stadium, where he has been dominant this season (including seven scoreless innings in Game 1 against the Braves).VETERAN PICKUPSThe Dodgers are supposed to be run by statistically-focused decision-makers who make moves based on the numbers.“Yeah, that’s what I keep hearing,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi.But they have also shown a fondness for adding veteran players late in the season whose skills have diminished, making them more valued for their character and experience – from Chase Utley to Curtis Granderson to David Freese and Ryan Madson this year.Freese and Madson proved critical in turning Monday’s Game 4 to the Dodgers.“We’re not trying to prove anything to anyone. We’re just trying to win a World Series,” Zaidi said. “We’ll continue to make unique moves and evaluate players in a way that gives us the best chance.”FREESE UPFreese laughed off the suggestion that his extensive postseason experience – and success in those situations – gives him some kind of advantage in October.“No, no,” he said. “Every year, guys do great things in the postseason. There’s tons of guys that do really cool things in the postseason.”Freese did some really cool things in 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the MVP award in both the NLCS and World Series. He points to that as proof experience doesn’t necessarily mean a thing.“Two-thousand-eleven was the first year I was in the postseason,” said Freese whose two-out, two-run pinch-hit single in the sixth inning Monday gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. “Good things just happen. It’s all about the opportunity. If you get the opportunity good things can happen.”Related Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS for a third consecutive year and Kershaw will start Friday in Milwaukee, at a time to be announced.“It was pretty simple,” Roberts said. “I think that we had our reasons why we decided on Game 1 vs. Game 2. But if there’s a potential Game 5, we feel very confident that Clayton should be the guy taking the baseball.”Kershaw made the best postseason start of his career in Game 2, holding the Braves to two hits in eight scoreless innings. Afterward, he admitted that he took a little extra pleasure from the performance because of the Dodgers’ decision to start Ryu ahead of him.“Yeah, maybe,” he said with a smile after Game 2. “Maybe a tick, for sure.”In the celebratory locker room after the Dodgers’ win Monday, however, Kershaw kept any feelings of vindication to himself. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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