We learned before the game of two roster adjustments from my projection. One came as a surprise, and one should not have been. Soft tossing LHRP Ryan Yarbrough was left off the roster in favor of…take your pick, Michael Grove or Caleb Ferguson. I had Grove making the roster but in favor of Ferguson rather than Yarbrough.
The second adjustment was not much of a surprise. Kolten Wong was added over Amed Rosario. Arizona is primarily a RHP team, making the choice of the LHH Wong over the RHH Rosario rather straightforward.
Before the rosters were finalized, Clayton Kershaw was named the starter for Game 1 and Bobby Miller the starter for Game 2.
Kershaw’s start was an unmitigated disaster. A line drive that should have been caught by James Outman pops out the heel of his glove and is incorrectly (IMO) ruled a double. But the next four…single, single, double, HR.
A 6-3 ground out, a BB, and double, and Kershaw was done after 35 pitches. He did not get through the first inning for the first time in his career.
Every ball hit was a hard hit.
- Ketel Marte – Double – 115.7 MPH
- Corbin Carroll – Single – 109.6 MPH
- Tommy Pham – Single – 99.4 MPH
- Christian Walker – Double – 105.7 MPH
- Gabriel Moreno – HR – 110.8 MPH
- Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – 6-3 – 96.7 MPH
- Alek Thomas – BB
- Evan Longoria – Double – 98.8 MPH
Emmet Sheehan relieved Kersh, got the final two outs, and the 1st inning was mercifully over.
In the 2nd, Sheehan was not that much more effective than Kershaw was in the 1st. A monstrous HR by Corbin Carroll started the inning. A single, HBP, double, and sac fly plated 2 more.
Sheehan pitched a very respectable 3rd and 4th scoreless innings. After Shelby Miller pitched two scoreless innings with only an infield single, it was Michael Grove’s turn. On a 14 pitch AB, Alek Thomas slugged a HR to give the DBacks a 10 run lead. He did retire the side after that.
The two lefties followed, and they retired 6 of the 7 batters they faced. The one they did not retire was a Tommy Pham HR off Alex Vesia in the 8th.
The Dodgers finally got on the board in the 8th. With one out, Mookie and Freddie drew walks. Will Smith followed with a two-run triple.
After 11 runs, on 13 hits, including 4 home runs and 4 doubles, the DBacks hand the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw an embarrassing loss. But it is only one game. The NLDS winner needs to win 3. The Dodgers won the first game last year and then went down in defeat in three straight games. I harken back to the 1959 WS Game 1 when the Dodgers lost to the ChiSox 11-0. They came back and won it in 6.
You just have to wonder if that shoulder was a problem for Clayton. He will not use it as an excuse, but he has never been hit as hard as he was. His fastball and slider had no life, much less late life. His curveball was nowhere close to being his coveted Uncle Charlie.
His postseason ERA is now at 4.49. You just have to wonder if his HOF career is really coming to an end. Since he is 13-13 in 32 post season starts, you cannot say that the Dodgers have wasted him.
Now we are on to game 2, and the Dodgers turn to a rookie, Bobby Miller to face a possible CY finalist, Zac Gallen. The Dodgers are going to need to get some offense in order to win this. Can Mookie and Freddie lead the offense in Game 2?