With the way Kris Medlen pitched in September, one would've expected more of a pitcher's duel. Unfortunately for the Braves, it got ugly in a hurry.
Clayton Kershaw struck out 12 Braves and allowed just three hits in seven innings as the Dodgers take Game 1 of the Division Series by a score of 6-1.
Medlen struck out the side in the first inning in front of a raucous and amped up Atlanta crowd, but then the trouble started. Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe singled with one out in the second; Puig advanced to third on Uribe's hit, setting up Skip Schumaker's sacrifice fly. A.J. Ellis then lined a double out of the reach of a diving Evan Gattis to score another run.
Problems continued for Medlen in the third. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-out, two-run homer to center, one that doesn't happen if Elliot Johnson handles Carl Crawford's ground ball cleanly; in the fourth, Mark Ellis singled home a run following a one-out double by A.J. Ellis and a two-out walk to Crawford. Atlanta finally broke through against Kershaw in that same inning courtesy of Chris Johnson's RBI single, but Hanley Ramirez doubled home one last run in the sixth against Jordan Walden. Medlen didn't make it out of the fifth inning, departing after plunking Yasiel Puig.
Kershaw had four strikeouts through four innings, but proceeded to strike out eight of the next 10 hitters he faced. Braves hitters struck out 15 times, and about a handful of them were on some questionable check-swings. Regardless, Atlanta was just 1-8 with RISP and will try to salvage a split at home against Zack Greinke in Game 2.
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