LOS ANGELES — After five days off, but four days of intrasquad scrimmages and workouts at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers are playing a game that counts again, hosting the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
Clayton Kershaw starts for the Dodgers, making his 32nd career postseason start, fifth-most in major league history. It’s his 12th Game 1 start, and the sixth time he’s starting the Dodgers’ first game of the playoffs.
Merrill Kelly starts for the D-backs, coming off a fantastic season in which he had a 3.29 ERA in 30 starts, with 187 strikeouts and 69 walks in 177⅓ innings. But’s he’s 0-2 with a 3.98 ERA in 2023 in four starts against the Dodgers, and in his career is 0-11 with a 5.49 ERA against them.
“It’s a bit of a mystery, a bit of a puzzle for me to solve, which going into the playoff game against them I’m looking forward to trying to solve in this game. It would be nice to get my first Dodger win in five years in the playoffs,” Kelly said Friday. “In my mind I’m well overdue for one.”
“You’re not going to get to the playoffs unless you have good pitching. And we’ll face two of the best here in the first couple of games,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said of Kelly and Zac Gallen, who will start Game 2 for Arizona. “We know what they’ve got. We know how they like their pitches. Hopefully we can get some hits.”
NLDS Game 1 info
Teams: Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks
Location: Dodger Stadium
Time: 6:20 p.m.
Starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw vs. Merrill Kelly
TV: TBS (Bob Costas, Ron Darling, Lauren Shehadi)