LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — It’s time for Dodger postseason baseball!
The boys in blue will face off against the Atlanta Braves Thursday at Dodger Stadium for Game 1 of the best-of-five National League Division Series. But in a change from previous postseasons, ace Clayton Kershaw will not be this year’s Game 1 pitcher.
Instead, fellow left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 1, and Kershaw will start Game 2. Pedro Moura with The Athletic says this will be the first time Kershaw won’t start the postseason for the Dodgers since 2009.
Dodger manager Dave Roberts said the decision to switch things up “was more of just trying to appreciate that both games have equal importance, and what we can do to put both pitchers in the best position to succeed.”
“When you look at it and giving each guy one extra day of rest as opposed to Hyun-Jin and Clayton on regular rest and then you look at Game 3, Walker (Buehler) on an extra day, made more sense to us,” Roberts said.
Ryu last pitched on Friday, limiting the San Francisco Giants to one run and four hits in six innings in a 3-1 victory and was credited with the victory. Kershaw pitched on Saturday, getting a no decision after allowing five runs and eight hits in five innings in a 10-6 victory over the Giants that assured the Dodgers of a post-season berth.
Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz will start for the Braves.
The Dodgers won the regular-season series against Atlanta, 5-2, winning four of the final five games. However, Ryu did not pitch against Atlanta this season.
The Braves won the NL East with a 90-72 record, advancing to the postseason for the first time since 2013.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Dodger scout Mike Brito who is credited with helping sign Fernando Valenzuela, Yasiel Puig and Julio Urias. Brito is in his 40th year in the organization.
All potential postseason games at Dodger Stadium through the NL Championship Series are sold out. Alternative ticketing options are available at Dodgers.com/Postseason, which includes links to team partners on the secondary market.
Auto gates will open at 2:40 p.m. for the 5:37 p.m. game. Fans were urged to arrive early, purchase parking in advance, carpool or use a ride-sharing service.
The Dodger Stadium Express will continue to operate during the postseason from both Union Station and the South Bay, with service starting two hours before the game and free for everyone with a game ticket.
More information on transportation options can be found at Dodgers.com/transportation.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)