The Dodgers will face their second consecutive elimination game Friday, this time in St. Louis with ace
Kershaw, who at age 25 has already won one
There have been many memorable Kershaw moments over the past six years, but Punto flatly said what everyone was thinking:
"The biggest start of his career. I'm looking forward to watching it."
In the regular season, Kershaw went 16-9 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, both the lowest marks in the major leagues. He led the NL with 232 strikeouts.
And he now pitches in the most important game of his life. Win or the Dodgers' season ends.
If the Dodgers had their choice of any pitcher in baseball to start Friday, the left-hander is the one they would want to send out. After Game 5, first baseman
"Not one of the best," he interrupted. "The best."
But "the best" lost Game 2. Lost despite allowing only two hits in his six innings. Lost despite allowing only one unearned run.
Lost because the Dodgers could not scrape up a single run against rookie right-hander
The means to Kershaw's demise was not unfamiliar. In his nine regular-season losses this season, the Dodgers scored him a total of 14 runs. In 16 of his 33 starts, the Dodgers scored two or fewer. Wrote the Orange County Register's Bill Plunkett: "The only hitters who seem capable of frustrating Kershaw at times are the ones on his own team."
The Dodgers hit four home runs in their victory Wednesday and are hopeful some of that newfound power will carry over to St. Louis.
“We have the best pitcher in baseball going,” said reliever