For the first time since 2009, the Dodgers will start the playoffs with a pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Dodgers lefthander Hyun-Jin Ryu will start Game 1 of the National League Divisional Series against the Braves, the club announced Tuesday.
Lefthander Clayton Kershaw was named the Game 2 starter. It will mark the first time since 2009 that Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, will not open the playoffs as Los Angeles' opening starting pitcher.
According to the Los Angeles Times' Andy McCullough, both Ryu and Kershaw will get an extra day's rest prior to making their postseason starts.
McCullough reports that the Dodgers would not have decided on this order if Kershaw was not available for a potential Game 5 outing. Additionally, he reports that Kershaw will not be a candidate to pitch on short rest this postseason.
Last year, Kershaw made six postseason appearances (five starts), posting a 3.82 ERA while striking out 33 batters across 33 innings pitched. He held a 4–2 record.
Ryu has not started a postseason game since Oct. 7, 2014. He will be opposed by Braves righthander Mike Foltynewicz, whose making his first-ever playoff start.
As of late, Ryu has outperformed Kershaw, who has dealt with a nagging back injury throughout the season. In September, Ryu boasted a 1.50 ERA through 30 innings pitched. Kershaw had a 3.89 ERA last month across 37 innings.
Game 1 of the NLDS is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4, at Dodger Satdium. Game 2 is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 5. You can check out the complete MLB Playoffs schedule here.