Justin Turner's big night fuels Dodgers to 1-0 series lead

Jake Taylor and Jeff Mathis

Things got dicey there in the end.

It was the Justin Turner Show on Friday night at Dodger Stadium as the Arizona Diamondbacks faced off with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

9-5 to grab a 1-0 lead in their National League Division Series matchup and snap a six-game losing streak to the Diamondbacks. The notion that arguably the best pitcher in the league struggles so mightily has been a big issue of contention.

In 2015, Kershaw had a 2.63 ERA in the NLDS series. He was 3-0 in five starts against the Dodgers this season, posting a 2.27 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings.

Kershaw's brilliant career has set a high bar. Unthinkable for a pitcher with a regular season ERA of 2.36 across almost 2,000 pitches thrown. Kershaw has had some fine moments in the postseason, which conveniently gets ignored when commentators drag out the "Kershaw chokes in the postseason" narrative. Despite mounting concerns about his nerves, the fact that the big stage gets bigger seems to actually improve his pitching.

The tongue-wag at third base was not the only curious appearance of Puig's tongue on this night. It was his first with the Diamondbacks after coming over in the offseason in a trade from the Mariners. He spent three seasons with the Seattle Mariners prior.

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Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo did everything he could in order to win the NL Wild Card over the Rockies on Wednesday night, including throwing his No. 2 starter, Robbie Ray, 2 1/3 innings in relief.

Kershaw struck out seven, walked three and allowed five hits in 6 1/3 innings. Or maybe those four home run balls were just a matter of round spheres striking round bats at just the right angle, through no fault of the man who threw them.

Despite the four home runs allowed, Kershaw earned his first ever postseason victory at Dodger Stadium in his career, spanning over 19 playoff starts.

The four Arizona homers came from A. J. Pollock in the third, J. D. Martinez in the sixth and back-to-back blasts from Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis in the seventh. That Arizona managed to make it interesting is surprising.

This isn't a statement about the talent of the Diamondbacks at all, it's a statement about how good Clayton Kershaw is. In a year when teams collectively scored more runs than in any year since 2008, the Dodgers gave up the fewest runs as a franchise since 2003.

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