Game 5 of the NLDS. LA Dodgers at home vs. the Washington Nationals. Winner goes on to the NLCS to play the St. Louis Cardinals, who earlier in the day had beaten the Atlanta Braves with an insane ten runs in the top of the first inning. Loser goes home and the season’s over for them. Do or die.
The Dodgers were the winningest team in the National League with 106 wins and winners of the last seven straight NL West titles. The Nats on the other hand, didn’t have very many expectations this While having star pitching in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg but lost their star franchise player Bryce Harper to the Phillies in the offseason, at the time becoming the highest paid player in baseball (until the GOAT, Mike Trout beat that contract about two weeks later).
In tonight’s Game 5 matchup, the Dodgers were favorites to win this game and a lot of people counted the Nats out. The Dodgers got out to a pretty early lead with 2 runs on a Max Muncy homer in the bottom of the first inning off of Strasburg and then Kike Hernandez made it 3-0 with a dinger in the second inning. Juan Soto drove in Anthony Rendon in the top of the sixth to make it 3-1.
In the top of the seventh with two outs and runners on first and second, Dave Roberts calls out none other than his ace, Clayton Kershaw from his bullpen to help close out the game. He gets the quick out striking out Adam Eaton swinging on three pitches. Then in the bottom of the eighth inning, that’s where things got insane. Kershaw gives up a leadoff dinger on two pitches to Anthony Rendon making it 3-2. Dodgers still have the lead. Then on the very first pitch he sees from Kershaw, Juan Soto hits a fucking BOMB, 449 deep to right center to tie up the game. Two home runs to tie up the game on seven total pitches.
Kershaw solidifies himself as not clutch whatsoever in the playoffs. Always known for being the best pitcher in baseball in the regular season, but never getting it done in the playoffs. Shocker that he blows this game for the Dodgers. Almost have to feel bad for the guy.
After the two straight homers, Kenta Maeda throws three straight strikeouts to get the Dodgers out of this nightmare of an inning. In the top of the ninth, Dave Roberts sends out Joe Kelly, who I fucking hate from his time with the Red Sox (Go Yanks!) to keep the game going. Perfect inning. The Nets get out of the 9th inning and we’re onto extras. Free baseball in a win or go home game. Can’t beat it.
Top of the tenth, Roberts keeps Joe Kelly out there after the great ninth. Kelly walks Adam Eaton, gives up a ground rule double to deep left to Anthony Rendon and then the Dodgers intentionally walk Soto to bring up Howie Kendrick. Who the hell is this kid?
On the second pitch Kendrick sees…GRAND SLAM. 7-3 Nats. Fucking love it.
Finally, in the bottom of the 10th inning, Dave Roberts decides why not send out his closer, Kenley Janson. Too little too late.
And just like the the Washington Nationals win their first playoff series since moving to our nation’s capital in 2005. Good for them. This game was hilarious to watch.
What a game.