LOS ANGELES, Calif -Clayton Kershaw took the ball for the Los Angeles Dodgers in game one of the NLDS and early on pitched like the superstar that he is, something that other number ones in the postseason have not been able to do with their respective teams.
The Dodgers offense was led by Justin Turner who smashed a three-run home run in the first inning leading to the 4-0 lead.
Kershaw (1-0) did not allow a hit to the Arizona offense until the third inning, both coming off the bat of A.J. Pollock, with a solo home run. Through the first three innings he was dealing with six strikeouts on 49 pitches. On the night he would pitch into the seventh inning, earning his fifth postseason victory.
In the fourth inning, Los Angeles added on with three runs, highlighted by Turner again with the RBI single. This increased the lead to 7-1 and putting the game out of reach.
Arizona’s offenses kept batting and grinding through the game. They added a single run in sixth and a pair of runs in the seventh. All runs were on solo home runs.
J.D. Martinez blasted a solo home run in the sixth, and it seemed to inject some life into the Arizona dugout. It was his first this postseason and third of his career. He finished 3-for-4 on the night, with the three hits, a postseason career high.
The two runs in the seventh were back-to-back by Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis which would be the knock out blow for Kershaw. This was the first time in which they hit back-to-back home runs in the postseason since 2011, joining Ryan Roberts and Chris Young.
The four home runs hit off Kershaw were the most allowed by a Dodgers pitcher in postseason history.
Taijuan Walker started for the Diamondbacks, lasting only one inning, allowing the four runs on 49 pitches.
Zack Godley pitched five innings, from the second to the sixth and although he gave up three runs, only two were earned on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He was able to keep the team in the game and eat up innings. His outing was the longest by a Diamondbacks pitcher in postseason history.
Torey Lovullo, the Diamondbacks manager, talked about Godley’s outing and the fact he was able to save the bullpen. “I thought he did a great job. He came in the second inning. Gave us five good innings and only two earned runs. He did enough for us to get back in the game. Gave us a chance to play catch up, it’s what we ask our relievers to do. It’s a new role for him. But he was great. He did a solid job and keeping the game in striking reach.”
In the eighth inning, Los Angeles added on two runs to increase their lead to 9-4, as had been the case all night, Turner (3-for-4, 5 RBI) was in the middle with another RBI single.
The Diamondbacks added an unearned run in the ninth inning making the score 9-5.
Next up is game two of the NLDS. Arizona will send Robbie Ray with Los Angeles countering with Rich Hill. First pitch is scheduled for 6:08 PST.