Clayton Kershaw faces Gio Gonzalez on Friday at Miller Park in Milwaukee, as the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Brewers in the opening game of the National League Championship Series.
Generally considered the best pitcher in baseball, Kershaw has had a lackluster postseason career that has seen the veteran left-hander struggle repeatedly.
At some point he needs to step up and lead his team to a World Series triumph or he will be forever compared negatively to the likes of Madison Bumgarner, who has led the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles with playoff performances that have been otherworldly.
The Dodgers were a peculiar team all season, as they did not play up to their considerable potential until the very end when they nipped the Colorado Rockies for the National League West Division title.
Somewhat predictably LA rolled over the Atlanta Braves in four games in the Division Series and the Dodgers now take on a Milwaukee side that also peaked at just the right time.
Indeed the Brewers have won 11 in a row. The first seven were at the end of the regular season to force a one-game Division decider against the Chicago Cubs.
Victory in that game, at Wrigley Field, gave Milwaukee the best record in the senior circuit and a match up with the Wild Card winner whom tuned out to be the Colorado Rockies.
A three-game sweep later and the Brewers are on a serious roll having outscored their opponents 72-28 over their winning streak.
The Dodgers are 10/39 to win the series, with Milwaukee 31/10.
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