"He had command to both sides of the plate, command at the secondary", Roberts said. "He was in complete control".
As such, Atlanta has fallen into an 0-2 hole. where only a sweep of the final three games (Sunday/Monday in Atlanta, Wednesday in Los Angeles) could propel the Braves to their first playoff series triumph since 2001.
Kershaw was even better.
Whereas Game 1 was televised on MLB Network last night, Game 2 is being televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) cable TV.
"Tonight was just my night", he said. "That's all I was trying to do".
In Game 4 of the 2015 NLDS, Kershaw struck out eight while allowing one run on three hits in seven innings. Jerry Reuss and Burt Hooton did it in 1981, against Houston and Montreal. The only other major league team to open a postseason series with back-to-back shutouts was the 1921 New York Giants.
The Braves are starting Anibal Sanchez, and Puig has crushed righties this year. He allowed one run over eight innings in the three games for a 1.13 ERA. Atlanta never got a runner past second base against Hyun-Jin Ryu and trio of Los Angeles relievers. The Dodgers beat the Cubs in the NLCS last season and lost to them in that round in 2016.
Ryu threw a season-high 104 pitches in this one. 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. "He said he hit it really hard, so he was surprised I caught it".
Despite Kershaw's low pitch count, Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for the save.
Yasmani Grandal homered on an 0-2 pitch from Sanchez leading off the fifth to make it 3-0. Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times Top Deck fans cheer as Dodgers Joc Pederson leads off with a home run to centerfield in Game 1 of the NLDS.
But his move to the series opener bumps a Dodgers pitching legend to Game 2. 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. Since Turner returned from his injury, he has been one of the best hitters in the National League, and his defense was a huge plus as well.
Kershaw was sharp on defence, too.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman tumbles into the front row in pursuit of a fourth inning foul ball. A trainer briefly came out to check on Kershaw, who threw one warmup pitch to prove he was fine.
"I think that it was one of the best outings that I've seen", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Hernandez added a solo shot in the sixth inning as the Dodgers played to their strength. Ross Stripling was an All-Star the first half of the season, while Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Buehler, and Rich Hill were on the DL.
"You can't blame any one person", Snitker said.
"This year I've pitched with an extra day a lot more than in years past", Kershaw said.
Kershaw juggled daughter Cali and son Charley on his lap in the postgame interview room.
The Braves' offense was anemic again.
Gausman joined the Braves from Baltimore at the non-waiver trade deadline in July in a six-player deal.