Clayton Kershaw started a Game 2 of the National League Division Series for a second consecutive year, but unlike against the Atlanta Braves in 2018, he was unable to help lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a win.
Kershaw immediately faced trouble against the Washington Nationals, as Trea Turner opened Game 2 with a double down the third base line. A walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases with one out, and Howie Kendrick delivered an RBI single against his former team.
Kershaw hit a second batter — matching is 2019 season total — to lead off the second inning and that eventually led to Adam Eaton’s two-out RBI single, which was then followed a run-scoring double from Anthony Rendon.
The Dodgers fell into a 3-0 deficit, but Kershaw managed to largely settle in as he blanked the Nationals the rest of the way to get through six innings. While he was still on the mound TBS cameras showed Turner explaining to teammates how to decipher which pitch would be coming.
The assumption the pitch tipping pertained Kershaw, however ESPN’s Eduardo Perez highlighted Turner was likely detailing what to watch for from Pedro Baez.
Baez entered in the seventh inning and promptly allowed a leadoff base hit to Turner. Eaton then reached on a bunt single and Rendon was called out on strikes in a seven-pitch at-bat. He was the final batter Baez faced as Adam Kolarek entered to match up with Juan Soto.
If Baez did tip pitches in the Dodgers’ Game 2 loss, it marks a second time this season that was the case. The Dodgers suspected he did so during the series with the Boston Red Sox, which led to back-to-back home runs during one of Baez’s appearances.
When asked if he had gleaned any information based of Kershaw’s delivery, Turner only said, “No.”
For his part, Kershaw said he was unaware if he had tipped pitches but would look into the possibility.
Whether Baez or Kershaw, the Dodgers have been down this path before in the postseason. The Houston Astros picked up on tells in Yu Darvish’s delivery and proceeded to pound the right-hander during his starts in the 2017 World Series.