National League Division Series Game 2: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves - 6:07 p.m. (TBS)
ATLANTA - Whether it be from fatigue or just not his best stretch of pitching, Braves starter Mike Minor hasn't produced down the stretch like he had earlier in the season. Atlanta will need him to reverse course in Game 2 of the NLDS.
ATLANTA - Following a historic regular season, it didn't take long for Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw to make history in the postseason.
Kershaw struck out 12 while allowing one run and three hits in seven innings in a 6-1 win over the Braves in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
National League Division Series Game 1: Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves - 8:37 p.m. (TBS)
ATLANTA - History is favorable to the Braves against the Dodgers in the NLDS. But history doesn't apply when facing a Cy Young winner.
ATLANTA - Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint exact causes for a hitter's turnaround at the plate. Sometimes it hits you right in the face.
For Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, the obviousness is as aggressive as the cause.
Ramirez has bumped his numbers all the way to .345/.402/.638 with a .442 wOBA, 191 wRC+, 20 home runs, 10 stolen bases and an 8 percent walk rate in 336 plate appearances. His extreme numbers vaulted his fWAR to 5.1 in only 86 games, tied for highest among Dodgers position players.
ATLANTA - If you're looking for the most dominant pitch in the NLDS between the Braves and Dodgers, it will be on showcase in Game 1 on Thursday. But it might not be what you're thinking.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw has one of the best out pitches in the game in a slider that produced a swinging strike 41 percent of the time it was swung at this season. His highest career rate is 43 percent in 2009 and 2010.
That is a very high mark for any pitch in baseball, but it's not the best in the series. It's not even the best in Game 1.
The Braves announced their NLDS roster on Wednesday afternoon. Game 1 against the Dodgers is set for 8:37 p.m., on Thursday.
PITCHERS (11): Luis Avilan (LH), Luis Ayala (RH), David Carpenter (RH), Freddy Garcia (RH), David Hale (RH), Craig Kimbrel (RH), Kris Medlen (RH), Mike Minor (LH), Julio Teheran (RH), Jordan Walden (RH) and Alex Wood (LH)
CATCHERS (3): Evan Gattis, Gerald Laird and Brian McCann
It took a brotherly duo to make Sports Illustrated history.
The MLB playoffs preview issue of SI for October features a cover of Atlanta Braves outfielders and brothers Justin and B.J. Upton. Joining the two is SI swimsuit model Kate Upton.
It marks the first time in the magazine's history that a swimsuit model is on the cover of a non-swimsuit issue. Apparently, it just took a little brotherly love in Atlanta, and the coincidence of a same last name.
ATLANTA - When Jason Heyward went down with a fractured jaw from a Jon Niese pitch on Aug. 21, everyone obviously knew it would take time to return.
Heyward ended up missing 29 days, totaling 26 games, with surgery to his jaw. It took him a while to go back to solid foods. The first time he was able to eat Chick-fil-A after the surgery, he said he cried with joy.
The Dodgers have the 14th-highest fWAR among pitching staffs in MLB at 15.9, but they have the second-best ERA. In this case, trust the ERA.
I say this because the top three starting pitchers the Braves will see in the NLDS all have an ERA of 3.00 or lower. It doesn't matter what metrics you use, all three are just plain good.
It's curious, interesting, funny, joyful, maybe infuriating how baseball works sometimes.
The 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers are a pretty good example. They began the season 30-42 through June 21. From June 22 to the end of the season, they were 62-28.
Joyful for the Dodgers. Infuriating for the rest of the NL West. Interesting and funny to the rest of baseball. Curious to the Atlanta Braves.