The Dodgers did not have a single starting pitcher toss more than 6.3 innings in the seven postseason games leading up to the World Series, meaning their bullpen accumulated 27 innings of work before Los Angeles even got to the Fall Classic.
"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 homer in the second inning.
During the first inning against the Atlanta Braves, Machado put the Dodgers up 2-0 with a moon shot to left field.
The 31-year-old Ryu missed 3 1/2 months of the season with a groin strain and returned August 15 to post a 1.88 ERA in 52 2/3 innings. The right-hander, who had not allowed a home run in four of his last five starts, allowed two longballs, including a leadoff drive by Joc Pederson on his third pitch. Find out how to watch Dodgers vs Braves Game 2 online live streaming with or without cable using the options provided ahead. The defending NL champions actually were outhit 6-5 by Atlanta, but the Braves only got singles.
The Dodgers might have lost a Game 7 in the World Series last year and they got off to a slow start this year at 16-26 on May 16, but they are a confident bunch now.
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They are incredibly good and incredibly quick, but we controlled the game well - we just didn't create. We know this club how complicated it is playing in this stadium and how risky they are.
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Ryu delivered in his first postseason start since 2014.
"Back then (in 2015), I made a decision to have shoulder surgery, obviously so that I could be back on the mound again", Ryu said. He only struck out one hitter (Nick Markakis looking on a attractive curveball to end the first with Acuna standing on third) through seven incredibly efficient innings (73 pitches). "When they are getting on and setting the tone for the guys behind them, it takes the pressure off". He loaded the bases with two outs before striking out Yasiel Puig.
The 34-year-old signed with the Braves during spring training, five days after being released by the Minnesota Twins.
"I think everyone knows we have our hands full", said Freeman, who was 1 for 4. However, at times, they also looked like they would run away with the division only to be brought back down to earth against a sub.500 team.
Throughout his entire big league career, the NLDS has seen ordinary results from the greatest pitcher of the current generation.
At face value, the Dodgers' move to Ryu in Game 1 makes sense because it keeps their rotation in order. All you have to do is stroll through social media and every time Kershaw gets mentioned for pitching a good game, the doubters quickly tarnish his performance with negative comments relating to his past playoff experiences.