Max Scherzer held the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless through four innings, and scoreless through six in Game 5 of the NLDS in Washington, D.C.
He came back out for the top of the seventh, however, with a 1-0 lead, and gave up a solo home run on the first pitch he threw to Joc Pederson, whose opposite field blast tied the game up.
Carlos Ruiz hit an RBI single to left later in the seventh and Justin Turner hit a two-run triple to center for a 4-1 lead.
Just when it looked like all hope was lost, Danny Espinosa walked to start the Nationals’ half of the seventh and Chris Heisey followed with a two-run home run to left to make it a 4-3 game.
That’s as close as they would get though. Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts went to his closer, Kenley Jansen early, when the Nats threatened in the bottom of the seventh, and the hard-throwing right-hander tossed two scoreless to keep it 4-3.
Jansen came back out for the ninth and issued back-to-back, one-out walks to Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth before LA turned to Clayton Kershaw out of the pen and he recorded the last two outs...
Ballgame. Season for the Nationals. Dodgers win NLDS, 3-2
Here’s how it happened:
Daniel Murphy connected for the Nationals’ first hit of the game, sending a grounder through short to start the bottom of the second, and he took second base on a pitch in the dirt to Ryan Zimmerman before scoring on an opposite field single to right by Danny Espinosa to make it 1-0 over the Dodgers early in Game 5.
Dodgers’ starter Rich Hill left the game after a two-out intentional walk in the third put runners on the corners, and Joe Blanton got a line drive to center from Anthony Rendon for out No. 3 as the Nationals stranded two runners.
Rich Hill’s Line: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks, 55 P, 34 S, 1/1 GO/FO.
Max Scherzer walked two, and threw a lot of pitches in the fourth, in what ended up a 30-pitch frame that left him at 67 pitches, but held the Dodgers hitless through four.
Back-to-back singles started the fifth, however, and a third with one down loaded the bases in front of pinch hitter Andre Ethier, who went down swinging at a 2-2 slider in the dirt. Chase Utley stepped up next with two down and grounded out to short to end the threat. Still 1-0 Nationals.
Scherzer was up to 98 pitches after he worked around a two-out single in the top of the sixth, and he came back out for the seventh, (after Jayson Werth ran into an out trying to score from first on a Ryan Zimmerman double on an ill-advised send in the home-half of the sixth), and gave up a solo home run on the first pitch to Joc Pederson. 1-1.
Max Scherzer’s Line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 Ks, 1 HR, 99 P, 65 S, 6/2 GO/FO.
Marc Rzepczynski walked the only batter he faced after the Pederson home run, putting Yasmani Grandal on, and Howie Kendrick singled off Blake Treinen to put runners on first and second with no one out. Charlie Culberson fouled off a bunt attempt for the first out of the frame, and Dusty Baker went to Sammy Solis.
Solis got to a 2-2 count against pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz, but gave up an RBI single to left field that put the Dodgers ahead, 2-1.
Justin Turner followed with a two-run triple to center off Shawn Kelley in the next at bat and the Dodgers took a 4-1 lead.
Danny Espinosa walked to start the Nationals’ half of the seventh, however, and Chris Heisey followed with a two-run home run to left off Grant Dayton to make it 4-3.
Dave Roberts went to his closer, Kenley Jansen, with one on and no one out after Clint Robinson singled off Dayton. Joe Ross came on to run for Robinson one out later, and went first-to-third on an opposite field single by Bryce Harper.
Jansen struck Jayson Werth out, then walked Daniel Murphy intentionally to get to Anthony Rendon with two down and struck him out with an 0-2 cutter up high, 4-3 Dodgers.
Jansen worked around a leadoff runner in the eighth for his second scoreless frame.
Jansen came back out for the ninth and issued back-to-back, one-out walks to Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth before LA turned to Clayton Kershaw out of the pen for the last two outs of the game. Ballgame.
Nationals lose NLDS, 3-2, to Dodgers
- Washington’s three division titles in the last five years are the second-most in the majors, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers’ four.
- Washington won just one of six games with LA in the regular season, leaving them 27-44 against the Dodgers in the regular season and 29-46 including postseason games since baseball returned to D.C. in 2005.
- Los Angeles and Montreal met in a Game 5 in the NLCS in 1981, which the Dodgers won on a ninth-inning home run by Rick Monday.
- Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer didn’t face the Nationals in the regular season. In Game 1 of the NLDS, he gave up four runs on five hits in six innings.
- Daniel Murphy has reached base safely in all 18 postseason games he’s played in his career.
- Daniel Murphy has driven in 11 of his 17 career postseason RBIs in nine games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Jayson Werth hit his 15th career postseason home run in Game 3 of the NLDS, tying him with Babe Ruth for 11th on the all-time last for home runs in the postseason.
- Adrian Gonzalez’s home run in Game 4 was his 6th in 23 postseason game s with the Dodgers.
- LA’s four offensive hit-by-pitches in Game 4 were the most ever in a postseason game.
- Rich Hill is pitching on three days’ rest for the second time in his career. The first time, he gave up five runs on three hits in three innings in a 2009 start against the Yankees.
- If Julio Urias pitches tonight, he’ll be the youngest Dodgers’ pitcher ever to appear in a postseason game and the youngest league-wide since 1970.
Nationals lose NLDS, 3-2, to Dodgers