The Los Angeles Dodgers have quickly taken a stranglehold on their 2013 National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. It should probably come as no surprise that they did so on the shoulders of Clayton Kershaw, who was phenomenal in his Game 1 start.
In fact, it’s the performance of Kershaw that may indicate that the series between the two sides may already be over. The Dodgers came in heavily favored, despite whatever the Braves may have accomplished at times this year, thanks to their deep pitching staff and massive payroll.
It’s actually the former that could result in the NLDS between the Dodgers and Braves already being over. The Braves have already met Kershaw once, and it ended in disaster. Given the fact that he is the most dominating pitcher in baseball at the moment, twice would spell absolute doom.
In a five-game series, you’re going to see him twice. The first time the Braves saw him on Thursday evening, he tossed seven innings and struck out a dozen batters. And that was an appearance where he wasn’t even 100 percent on his game throughout the entire outing.
In winning Game 1 of their series against Atlanta, the Dodgers made a statement. But it was a statement that they didn’t really need to make. They’re favorites to take home the pennant in the National League for a reason. That reason, above all else, is Clayton Kershaw.
Having already faced him in Game 1, the Braves are going to have to face Kershaw again at some point in this series. Which means the Dodgers only have to win one out of the other three, something that their record indicates should happen.
With Clayton Kershaw in the mix, and making at least two starts in a given series, the Dodgers are going to be very, very difficult to stop. He’s the best pitcher in baseball, and his dominance may indicate that the series between the two is already over.