Manny Machado crushes 2-run HR in Game 1 against Braves

Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp

Dodgers pitchers (and manager Dave Roberts has barely touched his bullpen) have dictated the terms of engagement to the playoff newcomers. "He was in complete control".

"I don't really feel like there's anyone on this team that's going up there trying to hit a home run", said Max Muncy, who had a three-run shot with two outs in the second.

Kershaw was even better.

"Maybe a tick, for sure", Kershaw said of earning some extra satisfaction. (His four scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 of last year's World Series have probably been forgotten by now, but... they happened.) His dominance tonight has to make Dodger fans giddy. Jerry Reuss and Burt Hooton did it in 1981, against Houston and Montreal.

The Braves have mustered nine hits with 15 strikeouts to open the series with back-to-back shutout losses, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

However, the Braves decided not to send Gausman back to Atlanta on Friday in case he was needed for Game 2.

Pederson hit his home run off Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz on the third pitch of the bottom of the first inning.

The Dodgers are 17-6 against Atlanta at Dodger Stadium since the start of the 2013 season, including a 3-0 record in the postseason.

September 29: Yasiel Puig smacks a solo home run in the top of the second inning against the San Francisco Giants.

"I don't think too much about the pitchers that I'm going to face". But when Roberts went out to pull his ace after 85 pitches, fans booed.

"You can't blame any one person", manager Brian Snitker said. Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth inning to earn the save.

Atlanta have lost eight straight series openers in the playoffs and have not won a Game 1 since 2001. That loss was the sixth straight loss in a stretch which included getting swept in a four-game series at home against the Cincinnati Reds. In fact, I already noticed the backlash against "playoff Kershaw" when Braves wunderkind Acuna led off with a double. Ex-Dodger Charlie Culberson grounded into a fielder's choice to shortstop, with Inciarte out at second.

"This team's better when we've had our backs against the wall, " Inciarte said. "He's one of the best, and he showed it". He worked around a double to lead off the game by Ronald Acuna Jr. and a comebacker off his right leg in the fifth inning by Ozzie Albies.

No matter how well Kershaw pitches, the question that will always come up with him will center around his postseason performance.

"I've had struggles in the past against (left-handed hitters)", said Foltynewicz, after lefty hitters Pederson and Muncy did damage against him. It was amusing to see Kershaw start working like late-30s Greg Maddux and just making hitters put it in play where he wanted them to.

The Braves' offence was anemic again. Nick Markakis, who went 0-for-3 batting cleanup, had an.877 OPS in the first half and a.701 figure in the second half... "You can't blame any one person". "I mean, it's just our whole lineup is having a hard time".

"Y'all are supposed to be in bed", Kershaw said, clearly pleased to have his hands full. The Braves have not yet announced their starter, but the offense may be a bigger concern. He came over from Baltimore before the July 31 trade deadline in a six-player deal and was 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts for Atlanta.

Kershaw was 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA during the regular season, fourth in the NL.

Foltynewicz gave up four runs and three hits in two innings.

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