Sometimes the little things in a baseball game can hurt a club. For the Brewers it was a botched double play in the bottom of the fifth that cost them the game and the series during the Dodger’s 3-0 victory in game two of the National League Wild Card series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday evening. Perhaps if former Dodger Jedd Gyorko had been able to scoop a low throw from third baseman Luis Urias the game would have remained scoreless and we would be talking about something else entirely.
But that didn’t happen and the Dodgers are advancing to the NLDS. In that fateful fifth frame Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff and Clayton Kershaw were dueling. The game was scoreless as the Dodgers started a rally. Cody Bellinger poked a single into center. Chris Taylor followed with a single into center of his own. With one out and runners on first and second AJ Pollock chopped a grounder to third. Urias fielded while stepping on third base for the second out, but his throw to first was low. Gyorko was unable to pick it and that extended the inning for the Dodgers. Austin Barnes of all people followed with a slow trickler up the middle to score Taylor to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Mookie Betts then sliced a two-run double down the left field line and the Dodgers took a commanding 3-0 lead.
NL Wild Card Game 2
Brewers 0 4 0
Dodgers 3 6 0
Dodgers Win Series 2-0
Little things aside, the inability of Milwaukee’s first baseman to scoop a throw was merely a footnote to this one. That’s because Clayton Kershaw was utterly dominant. He wasn’t just dominating, he was filthy. Kershaw tossed eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits, a walk and striking out 13. Kershaw broke some records with his historic outing. He became just the third Dodger in postseason history to record 12 or more strikeouts, joining Carl Erskine, and Sandy Koufax. Only Cliff Lee struck out 13 or more and allowed no runs in a postseason start.
Milwaukee starter Woodruff struck out nine himself over 4.2 innings. But he gave up three earned in that fifth inning and then was removed from the game thoroughly frustrated. Josh Hader came in for an inning and a third to hold the Dodger bats at bay for the rest of the night.
Again, the story of the night was Kershaw. The decade long narrative has been that Kershaw can’t pitch in the postseason. Well Kershaw is here to tell you all that he most certainly can. The Dodgers finished off the Brewers with Brusdar Graterol in the top of the ninth. This will be the last game at Dodger Stadium this season as the team will fly into the bubble to play at Houston’s Minute Maid Park for the NLDS. That series doesn’t start until Tuesday night, so the Dodgers will get a well deserved rest. They’ll play the winner of the St. Louis/San Diego series which is tied. It’s only the first series, but let’s tip your cap and toast a beer to Kershaw and the Dodgers. 11 more wins.
It's officially Mookie szn. pic.twitter.com/2lHhlB9jme
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 2, 2020