Cardinals jump on Mike Foltynewicz, Max Fried for 10 runs in first inning of NLDS Game 5

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Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, pitching on regular rest, wasn’t as sharp as he was in his brilliant NLDS Game 2 start against the Cardinals. In that start, he blanked the opposition on three hits and no walks with seven strikeouts across seven innings. In Game 5, Foltynewicz surrendered four runs while recording just one out before being taken out of the game.

Foltynewicz opened the first inning by walking Dexter Fowler. Kolten Wong moved Fowler to second with a sacrifice bunt. Paul Goldschmidt laced a single into the hole between third base and shortstop, gloved and held onto by Dansby Swanson, putting runners on the corners. Opening the scoring, Marcell Ozuna lined a single to right field to bring Fowler home. The threat continued when Yadier Molina hit a sharp grounder to Freddie Freeman on the right side. Freeman booted the grounder — Ozuna blocked his line of sight temporarily — which loaded the bases. Foltynewicz walked Matt Carpenter to force in a run, then gave up a two-run double down the right field line to Tommy Edman to make it 4-0.

After intentionally walking Paul DeJong, Foltynewicz was relieved by lefty Max Fried, who could not stop the bleeding. He walked opposing pitcher Jack Flaherty to force in a fifth run. Fowler came back to the plate and doubled to plate two more runs. Wong added a two-run double of his own to up the score to 9-0. Fried appeared to see his way out of the inning when Goldschmidt flied out and Ozuna struck out on a pitch in the dirt but catcher Brian McCann couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt. Putting “comedy” in “comedy of errors,” McCann fell down retrieving the ball, allowing a 10th run to score and Ozuna to reach first base safely. At long last, Fried ended the inning

It’s 10-0 and Flaherty hasn’t even taken the mound yet. It’s looking like the Cardinals are headed to the NLCS for the first time since 2014. The Braves have not advanced into the NLCS since 2001.

But hey, Baseball Savant still has the Braves’ win probability at 1.2 percent. It’s not officially over yet!

Clayton Kershaw returning to Dodgers on 1-year, $20M deal

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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 after signing a one-year, $20 million deal.

For the second straight year, the Dodgers didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him additional time to mull his future, and he once again decided to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus payable on June 30, a salary of $15 million and a hotel suite on road trips.

The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts last season. He struck out 137 and walked 23. Kershaw made his ninth All-Star team and started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his last start of the regular season on Oct. 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, when the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay during the pandemic-shortened season.