Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies And it came in the second game of a Dodgers’ postseason, the first time since 2009 Kershaw was not the Game 1 starter. It was a much-dissected decision that Kershaw finally admitted added fuel to his already-considerable fire.“Yeah, maybe. Maybe a tick, for sure,” he said in the post-game interview room, his son and daughter sitting on his knees and slapping at the microphone. “But (Game 1 starter Hyun-Jin) threw so unbelievable last night that you just want to match him.“That’s all I was trying to do, try and put our team in a good spot. You want to defend home-field advantage when you have home field obviously. So Game 1, Game 2, Game whatever – I’m getting to pitch in the playoffs and I’m excited about that.”The series now shifts to Atlanta, where rookie right-hander Walker Buehler could pitch the Dodgers to a series sweep Sunday night. If he gives up a run, it will be the Braves’ first since Sunday.The back-to-back shutouts in the postseason are the Dodgers’ first since Game 2 and 3 of the 2016 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs. According to Stats LLC, the Dodgers are only the second team in postseason history to have back-to-back shutouts in the first two games of a postseason – the New York Yankees did it to the New York Giants in the 1921 World Series. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start LOS ANGELES — Second verse, same as the first.Some of the names and details changed. The format – a dominant left-hander on the mound, multiple home runs from the offense – and the outcome did not.Clayton Kershaw made his one-day-delayed postseason debut and allowed just two hits in eight scoreless innings. Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal hit home runs and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of their National League Division Series 3-0 on Friday night.It was the longest and probably best start of Kershaw’s star-crossed postseason career – and Manager Dave Roberts was roundly booed by the home crowd when he let Kershaw warm up for the ninth then went out and pulled him from the game after the Braves’ pinch-hitter was announced. “Really impressive,” Cody Bellinger said of Kershaw’s performance Friday. “We knew it (the Game 1 decision) wasn’t going to affect him. He’s a competitor no matter what day he pitches. We knew he was going to shove.”Over the previous two days, Roberts wearied of the questions about starting Kershaw in Game 2. But he said he never doubted how Kershaw would respond to what he likely perceived as a slight.“It is impressive. It’s not a surprise,” Roberts said. “This guy is a potential Hall of Fame player. So to have the noise around him – when it comes to his day to start and to help his ballclub win a game, I had no concern that anything was going to affect him.“Our decision – a lot was made of it. But I think that I feel good that we put both those guys in position to pitch well.”Grandal had to pause when asked if that decision had created a distraction.“Distraction?” he repeated. “I don’t think that was a distraction. That was a move that was made to help the team. He’s all for that. I think the fact that we were able to come out with two wins is all that matters.”Like Ryu in Game 1, Kershaw strolled through the Braves’ lineup with ease. He spent even less time on the mound than Ryu did despite pitching deeper.Ronald Acuña Jr. scorched his first pitch into the left-center field gap for a double. He went to third on a ground out – the first time in this NLDS a Braves runner made it that far – but was stranded there when Kershaw froze Nick Markakis with a curveball for a called third strike.After the first-pitch ambush, Kershaw retired the next 14 Braves in order. The early swinging worked for Acuña but no one else. The first 17 Braves batters and 19 of the first 20 swung at Kershaw’s first or second pitch.The aggressive approach is a familiar strategy for opponents facing Kershaw. But it is a dangerous one – if you don’t get to Kershaw with it, you will be seeing him all night because of a low pitch count. It played right into Kershaw’s hands – or into his infielder’s hands. He struck out only three but got 14 outs on ground balls in the first seven innings and only threw 73 pitches.“They’ve done a lot of damage early in counts … a lot of those guys like to swing the bats,” Kershaw said. “A lot of other teams against me tend to swing early, for the most part.“It didn’t catch me off guard, really. Tonight, I think the biggest thing is I was able to throw some breaking balls for strikes early in the count, which definitely helped out.”The Braves didn’t get their second hit of the game until Ender Inciarte beat out a dribbler to second base with one out in the fifth. Kershaw hit a batter in the sixth but was otherwise stressed only by a comebacker by Ozzie Albies in the fifth that caused him to slip on the grass.“He pitched,” Roberts said. “For me, that was one of the best outings that I’ve seen that I can recall, in the sense that he used his complete repertoire of pitches. He used both sides of the plate. He changed eye levels effectively. And he really pitched.”Like Ryu, Kershaw was able to pitch with the lead for nearly the entire game.Joc Pederson didn’t lead off with a home run this time. He only doubled. Two outs later, Manny Machado got the green light on a 3-and-0 pitch and drove a two-run home run into the left-field pavilion.“I want him to swing right there,” Roberts said. “I was hoping he’d get a fastball that he could handle and I trust that if it’s in the strike zone then he could slug it. I can’t recall what Buck (Showalter, former Orioles manager) did with him. But here in the right spot, I feel good about certain guys swinging 3-and-0.”The Dodgers have held the lead after every inning of this series so far. They padded that lead with a solo home run by Grandal in the fifth inning. It was one of just 10 hits in the first two NLDS games for the Dodgers – but their fifth home run.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I was just trying to see the ball,” said Grandal, who went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in Game 1 and was dropped to eighth in the batting order for Game 2. “I wasn’t seeing the ball out of his hand and if I’m not seeing the ball out of the hand, my swing is messed up. So I went to my two-strike approach, just tried to see it out of his hand.”Kershaw drew a roar from the crowd when he charged out to the mound to warm up for the ninth inning. But it was just a ploy. Once right-handed Tyler Flowers was announced as the pinch-hitter, Roberts left the dugout to replace Kershaw with Jansen – drawing loud disapproval from the crowd.“Did you want Daddy to finish?” Kershaw said, turning to his 3-year-old daughter Cali when the question was posed after the game. “No? See – she knows. She knows.”Like all of the Dodgers’ pitching choices in this series (starting with the Ryu-Kershaw decision), it worked. Jansen retired the side to close out the win and give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.