A rejuvenated Clayton Kershaw set to start for the Dodgers in Game 2 vs. Brewers
Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers in Game 2 of their wild card series against the Brewers, but will we see 2020 Kershaw or 2019 playoffs Kershaw?
More CoverageDodgers must contend with the unhittable ‘Airbender’ pitch of Brewers’ Devin Williams“I think just trying to trust what you’ve done to be there, I guess, would be the main [advice],” Kershaw said. “I think maybe at the very early on, you might not trust, necessarily, the work you’ve put in or the success you’ve had before and you maybe lose some faith or some confidence.
“So just try to remember that the process and the routine that’s got you here is good enough to get people out in the regular season or the postseason.”Gavin Lux out, Keibert Ruiz on the rosterLast season, Gavin Lux hit a home run in his first career playoff at-bat. This year, the rookie infielder was left off the team’s wild-card roster after a disappointing 2020 campaign.
Advertisement“It could certainly change next series,” manager Dave Roberts said of Lux, who hit only .175 with three home runs in 19 games. “He’s a really good player. But the lack of experience coming off the bench, I just don’t think it was best for him, right now.”
Other notable absences on the team’s 28-man wild card squad were pitchers Alex Wood and Dylan Floro, roster casualties for a best-of-three series that didn’t call for an abundance of pitchers.“Alex and Flo, some of it was matchup driven, some of it was we just don’t really need the extra arms and we went with the position players,” said Roberts, who described his conversation with Floro, who had a 2.59 ERA this season, as being a “very difficult one.”
“A lot of times, I sit here and talk about ‘performance matters,’” Roberts added. “But in this case, ultimately, he performed and still doesn’t have the opportunity. I do look forward to him, shall we advance, to be on rosters. He was upset and he had every right to be upset.”
AdvertisementUtility infielder Matt Beaty, baserunning specialist Terrance Gore and third catcher Keibert Ruiz were added to the roster.‘Airbender’ takes a seatThe Brewers absorbed a body blow before the series began when right-hander Devin Williams was left off the playoff roster because of a sore right shoulder, which flared up after he threw two hitless innings against St. Louis on Friday night.
Williams might have been baseball’s best reliever this season, going 4-1 with an 0.33 ERA in 22 games, striking out 53 in 27 innings. His 17.67 strikeouts-per-nine innings rate in a 60-game season tied Aroldis Chapman (2014 Reds) for the best season mark in baseball history.
“To finally contribute and help us get to this point, to not be able to help at all now, and to be stuck on the bench, is really crushing, honestly,” said Williams, a 26-year-old rookie. “But there’s no sense in dwelling on it.”Williams features a 97-mph fastball and an 84-mph changeup — known as the “Airbender” — that fades down and away from left-handed batters. He gave up one run all season and held opponents to an .090 average and .339 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Advertisement“It’s unfortunate, for sure,” fellow reliever Eric Yardley said. “It’s hard to replace, what, 25 scoreless innings? It wasn’t even video-game numbers, it was just completely stupid all year.”With ace Corbin Burnes (4-1, 2.11 ERA) out because of an oblique strain and left-hander Brett Anderson out because of a blister on his pitching hand, the eighth-seeded Brewers were counting on Williams, left-hander Josh Hader and the rest of their relievers to cover the bulk of the innings against the Dodgers.
Austin Barnes to start Game 2Austin Barnes, Kershaw’s unofficial personal catcher in recent years, will start behind the plate in Game 2. Will Smith, the Dodgers’ catcher in their, is expected to be the designated hitter. Ruiz gives them insurance should an injury or a pinch-hitting opportunity for Barnes surface.
Short hopsMilwaukee manager Craig Counsell shook up his lineup for Game 1, moving Christian Yelich, who has batted second or third all season, to the leadoff spot, dropping leadoff man Avisail Garcia to fifth and Keston Hiura, who has batted second or third for most of the season, to eighth.
“We’re not scoring enough runs,” Counsell said. “Just giving ourselves a different look.” Read more: Los Angeles Times »
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American Airlines set to furlough 19,000 workers starting tomorrowAmerican Airlines says it's poised to furlough 19,000 workers starting tomorrow. But, the airline says it's ready to reverse the furloughs should Congress strike a deal soon. Lol. What kinda blackmail is that? Furlow so the rest of us can get handouts too Ahhh. NO!. I m not paying wages for airlines too stupid to stay in business. Lay them off, 47k auto workers permanent job loss, so be it for pilots ect. Send em a stumulus check! No bailouts for airlines. You already received one, you don’t need another.