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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 to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.