Bluetober Begins Tonight! Dodgers Division Series Game 1 Pregame

Dodgers Lineup for Game 1 NLDS @ Atlanta

Crawford 7
M.Ellis 4
Hanley 6
Gonzalez 3
Puig 9
Uribe 5
Schumaker 8
A.J. Ellis 2
Kershaw 1

 

Clayton Kershaw-16-9 vs. Kris Medlen-15-12

 

Well we made it guys. We’re here. The time has come my lovely little Dodger fans and Lairians. Tonight is the night. Tonight! Tonight! Tonight!!! The playoffs start tonight! So skip school, get off of work early, beat the traffic, the Dodger’s playoff series against the Atlanta Braves starts tonight at 5:37 PM pacific time. I’m just as nervous as you guys are. Possibly more. I am so scared right now, but at the same time I am thrilled beyond belief at the start of a new journey that’s destination is unknown.

Now The Braves named their Division Series roster last night, which included some surprises. Dan Uggla was left off of the roster. Uggla had struggled all season long with vision problems, and despite his high salary was left off the playoff roster. (He hit only .179).The Braves will be using defensive specialist Elliott Johnson at second base. There were a few other surprises on Atlanta’s roster. Starter Paul Maholm was left off, as were relievers Anthony Varvaro, and Scott Downs. Also added on the Atlanta roster are rookies Alex Wood, and David Hale.

Hopefuly We’ll all be smiling after tonight. Good luck Kersh! Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers waited until the last possible moment to announce their roster, in grand Dodger tradition of waiting until the last possible moment to make important decisions. But finally we have the roster and to no one’s surprise Andre Ethier is on the roster, but he’ll be used as a pinch-hitter, otherwise Skip Schumaker will be the starting center fielder for now. Here’s how the rest of the roster shakes out. Gordon has made the cut, as has Chris Capuano. Michael Young, and Van Slyke as well.

Photo from the Dodgers

Photo from the Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw will take the mound to kick off the Dodger’s postseason run. Kershaw has some playoff experience before as a younger man. During his first two seasons from 2008-2009, Kershaw pitched in five playoff games for the Dodgers. Kershaw was even more dominating than ever in 2013, as he turned in another Cy Young qualifying season. Kershaw led the league in ERA, whiffs, WHIP, and ERA+. Kershaw posted a 16-9 record, and a 1.83 ERA, with 232 whiffs in 2013.

Kershaw did not face the Braves at all this season, and hasn’t pitched at Turner Field since 2011. Of course Kershaw is even more dominant since then. Kershaw has only started one game at Turner Field, and in that game he tossed seven frames, and allowed two earned runs on eight hits, and whiffed ten. All total, Kershaw has a 2.45 ERA in four starts against Atlanta. He has whiffed 35 in those four games, and posted a 10.7 whiff per nine rate against the Braves. Kershaw’s dominance should play right into the Dodger’s advantage with the Braves being a big feast or famine offensive club. The Braves strike out a lot, and the Dodgers will have their top strikeout pitcher on the mound.

Kris Medlen-Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

When looking at the numbers, Kershaw has dominated the Braves. He’s dominated most teams, but the Braves have had a terrible time hitting him. Kershaw has held the Braves to a .133 (11 for 83) batting average against, with just one lone home run and only four extra-base hits. Kershaw has whiffed 28, and walked just six, while limiting the Atlanta hitters to a .403 OPS against. Kershaw has also destroyed left handed hitters, holding them to a .165 average. That’s important as Kershaw will need to neutralize Atlanta’s big lefty guns, (Freeman, Heyward). Yeah I think you could say those numbers are pretty good. The Dodgers are going to need Kershaw to be on his A-game tonight. Take note that slugger Justin Upton is hitting .103 (3 for 29) against Kershaw, and Dodger killer Chris Johnson is 1 for 12, (.083).  Check out what the rest of the Braves have done against Kershaw, or I should say not done.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Justin Upton

31

29

3

1

1

0

2

2

9

.103

.161

.207

Dan Uggla

13

12

1

0

0

0

0

1

6

.083

.154

.083

Paul Janish

12

11

2

0

0

0

0

1

0

.182

.250

.182

Chris Johnson

12

12

1

1

0

0

0

0

4

.083

.083

.167

Freddie Freeman

4

2

1

0

0

1

1

2

0

.500

.750

2.000

Jason Heyward

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

.000

.000

.000

Jose Constanza

3

3

1

0

0

0

1

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Reed Johnson

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

.333

Jordan Schafer

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

.000

.000

.000

Gerald Laird

2

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

.500

.500

.500

Paul Maholm

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

.000

.000

.000

Total

89

83

11

2

1

1

4

6

28

.133

.191

.217

The Braves will counter with right hander Kris Medlen. This guy is a very tough pitcher in his own right. Not on a Kershaw level or anything, but he’s tough. Medlen posted a 15-12 record, and a 3.11 ERA in 2013. He whiffed 157 and walked 47 in 197 frames. But here’s where the Dodgers have somewhat of an advantage. Medlen gives up 8.9 hits per nine innings. Kershaw gives up 6.3 per nine innings. Medlen allows almost three more hits per inning than Kershaw. But what has Medlen done against the Dodgers?

Unfortunately this season he has pitched very well against the Dodgers. Medlen faced the Dodgers twice this year and picked up a win, and a no-decision in two starts. Medlen beat the Dodgers back on June 8 when he threw 6.2 shutout frames. His no-decision came back on May 18 when he allowed one earned run in seven frames. The problem is Medlen ended the season on a torrid streak. The southern California native won five of his last six decisions and four of his five starts in September. He allowed just four earned runs total in the month of September. As a matter of fact, he’s never lost to the Dodgers. Medlen is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in eight games against the Dodgers in which he’s allowed just four earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched with 25 whiffs and five free passes. This is going to be a very tough assignment for the Dodger hitters. Medlen is 16-11 at Turner Field with a 2.42 ERA.

None of the Dodgers have had much success at all against Medlen. Andre Ethier is 4 for 12, but of course he can’t play right now. Hanley Ramirez is 5 for 9 with the only home run against Medlen. Here’s how the rest of the Boys in Blue have performed versus Medlen.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

Andre Ethier

12

12

4

2

0

0

1

0

3

.333

.333

.500

Michael Young

12

10

1

0

0

0

0

2

3

.100

.250

.100

Matt Kemp

10

10

1

1

0

0

0

0

5

.100

.100

.200

Nick Punto

10

8

1

1

0

0

0

2

2

.125

.300

.250

Hanley Ramirez

9

9

5

0

0

1

2

0

2

.556

.556

.889

Skip Schumaker

9

9

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

.444

.444

.556

Adrian Gonzalez

8

5

0

0

0

0

0

3

1

.000

.375

.000

Juan Uribe

7

6

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

.000

.143

.000

Tim Federowicz

6

6

2

0

0

0

0

0

2

.333

.333

.333

Drew Butera

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Carl Crawford

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Dee Gordon

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

.000

.667

.000

Zack Greinke

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Jerry Hairston

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

Yasiel Puig

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.333

.333

.333

Scott Van Slyke

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Chris Capuano

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stephen Fife

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

Ricky Nolasco

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.000

1.000

1.000

A.J. Ellis

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.000

1.000

1.000

Total

111

97

21

5

0

1

3

9

25

.216

.290

.299

Here’s a big reason why the Dodgers are going to win this series. As you can see by this SI pic below, the Upton brothers made the cover. We all know about the SI cover curse, right? There was a cover back in April that had Matt Kemp and Magic Johnson featured. And how was Matt Kemp’s season? Yeah, not very good. And we all remember what happened after Manny was on the cover back in 2008. Sorry Braves but you not only have to beat Kershaw, and Greinke, but you also have to beat the SI cover curse. Good luck with that Atlanta.

The Braves are cursed now.

The Braves are cursed now.

Try and ignore the Tomahawk chant we’ll be hearing over and over again tonight. Seriously, I can’t take the chanting. Man we had to listen to that crap throughout the entire 1990’s decade. So let’s not have to listen to it again. So yeah, please take care of this Clayton.

Hopefully this is just the first of 11 wins. Bluetober starts tonight! Check us out over here after the game, we’ll have the complete recap immediately afterwards.

Game Time-5:37 PM

TV-TBS

Go Blue!!!  Stop The Chop!

Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Carl Crawford Clayton Kershaw Don Mattingly Hanley Ramirez Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Mark Ellis Matt Kemp Skip Schumaker Yasiel Puig

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