Battle Of The Bullpens
In what some considered an even matchup between Kershaw and Scherzer, the bullpens were likely going to be the ones that decided the game. Last night, that statement held true as both bullpens combined to give up four hits without giving up a run.
However, it was the Dodgers bullpen that was able to hold the 4-3 lead that Kershaw left them. Los Angeles’ relievers gave up one hit over the final four innings. That hit was a pinch-hit double by Clint Robinson against closer Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the eighth.
One pitcher on the Dodgers bullpen who stood out was Grant Dayton. The left-hander came in for Joe Blanton with two outs in the sixth and got Harper to pop out to end the inning. Dayton would strikeout Werth and walk Murphy before handing the ball to Pedro Baez.
Last night, Dave Roberts decided to go to Jansen for the five-out save and the move paid off. Jansen struck out Chris Heisey in the eighth and then retired the top of the order 1-2-3 in the ninth with two strikeouts.
As for the Nats bullpen, they were impressive as well. Sammy Solis gave up one hit over two innings and had great success against the Dodgers left-handers. In the ninth, Mark Melancon loaded the bases, but struck out three during the ninth.
If this is going to be a long series, the bullpens are going to play a factor. Both Baker and Roberts made good decisions with their relievers, but it’s Roberts who ended up getting the win in his first postseason game as manager.