Zack Greinke to start NLDS Game 3 for Diamondbacks

Archie Bradley

Again, it wasn't fabulous, but it was enough for a win.

That's where our three takeaways begin. Plus, Clayton Kershaw, his mound opponent, was out to exorcised demons of past post-seasons.

On the bump Saturday night will be Robbie Ray, last seen throwing what he said was basically a bullpen session in the middle of the D-backs' wild card win Wednesday night over Colorado. They won an MLB-high 104 games this season, the most since the storied franchise moved west from Brooklyn.

In terms of head-to-head meetings in 2017, Kershaw went 2-0 with a ridiculous 0.59 ERA and 0.59 WHIP in two starts against the D-Backs this year (both starts came pre-injury), while Walker made three starts against the Dodgers, going 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 17 punchouts in 16.2 innings. They accepted beating Kershaw was going to be tough and chose to live to fight another day. The two wild pitches in the game were also surprising, since Kershaw had four all season prior.

For three mysterious weeks this season, everyone in the baseball universe puzzled over the struggles of the seemingly invincible Dodgers.

Lovullo surprised some by going with Walker over Godley or left-hander Patrick Corbin in Game 1.

"Well, we have been very resilient", Lovullo said.


Despite the four home runs allowed, Kershaw earned his first ever postseason victory at Dodger Stadium in his career, spanning over 19 playoff starts. Some argue that the monkey has long come off of Kershaw's back, with Los Angeles' 2015 and 2016 postseason runs serving as the reasoning. That's why this team is so good. Also, to be fair, the Dodgers' struggles with left-handed pitching peaked previous year, when they had an astounding.149 OPS deficit (.623 versus.772) when comparing their production against left-handers versus right-handers.

And the last time Ray was at Chavez Ravine, the result was one of the best performances of his career: 14 strikeouts against just three hits allowed over 7-2/3 innings. But he escaped that inning by striking out Diamondbacks sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and J.D.

Roberts removed Kershaw after he allowed homers to Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis on back-to-back pitches with one out in the seventh.

"A three-run home run in the first inning is pretty tough to absorb", Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.

Kershaw mostly cruised through six innings, giving up a solo homers to A.J.

"It was a win-or-go-home game", Roberts said.

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