ATLANTA -- Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did not face the Atlanta Braves in any of the seven games the teams played this season, prompting Braves ace Kris Medlen to say that might be a good thing for Kershaw.
"We've missed him twice this year both times we played, but I think our team, the confidence that we have, he missed us," Medlen said.
Kershaw and Medlen are the starters for Thursday night's Game 1 of the teams' National League Division Series at Turner Field. Some Braves have taken exception to the attention the star-studded Dodgers have gotten heading into this series, given the fact that the Braves won four more games in the regular season and secured home-field advantage for the series.
"The Dodgers are a great team, big-name players, but we had to play against them during the regular season and we played pretty well," Medlen said. "All the attention, I mean, we're not running for prom king. We're ready to play this series and play this team."
Medlen has pitched well against the Dodgers in his career, going 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. In four career starts against Atlanta, Kershaw has never gotten a decision, but he has a 2.45 ERA.
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis, a close friend of Kershaw's, said he doesn't think the left-hander will be any more motivated after reading or hearing about Medlen's comment.
"I don't think Clayton needs any motivation at all," Ellis said.