Dodgers fans boo Dave Roberts for removing Kershaw from shutout

Hyun-Jin Ryu 2018 NLDS

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

In their first two games of the National League Divisional Series, the Braves could neither score nor defeat the Dodgers out in Los Angeles, enduring a pair of back-to-back shutout losses.

Kershaw had started in Game 1 in each of the Dodgers' previous five NLDS openers but gave way this year to Hyun-Jin Ryu, who pitched seven shutout innings in Los Angeles' win Thursday.

Still, Ryu has posted a better ERA (2.81) in his three career postseason games than Kershaw (4.35) in his 24 playoff games.

In Game 2 of the 2016 NLCS, he threw seven scoreless innings against the eventual World Series champs, allowing only two hits.

Foltynewicz threw 28 pitches in the first and nearly didn't get out of the inning. "He'll still be in play", Roberts said. "We all get to a point where we need to change a few things, and I think he has".

Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA), who said he accepts the Dodgers' pitching decision, downplayed the concept that he will have extra incentive this postseason because he was not named the Game 1 starter.

It was not easy though, the Dodgers were as far as nine games out of first place after losing to the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 9th.

The Dodgers started a two-out rally in the second inning after Pederson was hit by a pitch.

If the series goes to a deciding fifth game, Roberts would again have to decide between Ryu and the ace who has been the face of the franchise for years.

Kershaw finished with eight innings of two-hit, no-run ball on 85 pitches.

Yasmani Grandal homered on an 0-2 pitch from Sanchez leading off the fifth to make it 3-0.

After Acuna's double to lead off the game, Kershaw retired the next 14 Braves batters. (The Braves hadn't been shut out in consecutive games since 2014.) While it would be a mistake to draw any broad conclusions from two bad games, the unpleasant fact for the Braves is that some of the pixie dust wore off the offense down the stretch, with the Phillies' and Nationals' more calamitous second halves providing Atlanta cover.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Bill Russell, the shortstop of the Dodgers record-setting 1973-81 infield, and the team's manager from 1996-98.

"Back then (in 2015), I chose to have shoulder surgery, obviously so that I could be back on the mound again", Ryu said.

"No one really followed us until the end of the season", Foltynewicz said.

"It just got me in a good spot, kind of in the belly of the leg right there", Kershaw said, "so maybe a little sore tomorrow, but I should be good". Freddie Freeman was hitless with a strikeout in four at-bats.

"It would be one or two of us", Kershaw said, smiling. Rich Hill as well has not set the league on fire but has been a reliable starter throughout the year.

Gausman joined the Braves from Baltimore at the non-waiver trade deadline in July in a six-player deal.

Yep, that's a home run on a 3-0 count. He was 5-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 10 starts for the Braves.

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

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