Dodgers slugger Manny Machado wasted no time helping the club to an early lead on Friday night. With the Dodgers angling for a 2-0 advantage in the NLDS, the four-time All-Star worked a 3-0 count against Atlanta right-hander Aníbal Sánchez in the bottom of the first, then drove a 386-footer into the left field stands for a two-run lead.
The first-inning blast gave southpaw Clayton Kershaw some much-needed run support as he plowed through the Braves’ lineup, setting down four straight innings of one-hit, one-strikeout ball. Any thought of a perfect game or no-hitter was erased on Ronald Acuña Jr.’s leadoff double in the first inning (making him the youngest player to record a postseason hit for the Braves in over 20 years), but not a single Braves’ batter has managed to reach base since.
The Dodgers currently lead Atlanta 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth.
As Bill wrote last night, Robinson Canó — bashed for his lack of hustle just a few days ago — busted it out of the box last night and strained his hamstring. That has now landed him on the injured list. Adeiny Hechavarria took over at second base after Cano’s last night and is starting there in today’s game versus the Nationals. No timetable has been given for Canó, but one usually misses at least a couple of weeks with hamstring pulls, sometimes longer.
Also going on the shelf for the Mets is Jeff McNeil, who hurt his hamstring on Tuesday. J.D. Davis will cover for him until he comes back. Michael Conforto is the next regular outfielder who should return to the fold. He has still not been given an offical comeback date after hitting the injured list with a concussion, but it was reported yesterday that he has been symptom free for a few days, which is a good sign.