Washington Nationals: Jose Lobaton Saves 2016 Season
Catcher’s big blast powers the Washington Nationals to a 5-2 win and evens this NLDS at one as they fly west to play the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jose Lobaton saved the Washington Nationals season.
His three-run shot to left in the fourth inning gave the Nats a lead they would never lose as they even this National League Divisional Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at one.
The home run off Rich hill deflated him. With a curveball as sharp as a fresh razor, he struck out seven of the first 12 National batters.
When he got into trouble in the fourth, it was the unheralded catcher who did the damage. For Lobaton, this was not his first career playoff gomer. In 2013, his solo shot in Tampa powered the Tampa Bay Rays past the Boston Red Sox in the lone Rays win.
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Hill never recovered, and neither did the Dodgers.
They jumped on Tanner Roark early, plating two. But with multiple chances with the bases loaded, the Dodgers came up short again and again. By the time the game ended, Los Angeles stranded 11 runners total, and the bases loaded twice.
Blake Treinen gets the relief win, Hill grabs the loss. Mark Melancon earns the save.
Trea Turner settled in and stole a base. Daniel Murphy and Jayson Werth delivered timely hitting and defense. Ryan Zimmerman looks renewed at the plate and the field.
The win takes pressure off of Game 3 starter Gio Gonzalez.
With the series even, the season doesn’t rest on his shoulders and he can focus on a lefty-heavy Dodger lineup to shut down. If he keeps his nerves in check, the Nats can finish the series Tuesday before they come back home.
In a game that resembled a chess match, as so often happens in October, Dusty Baker got the better of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Baker pulled all the right strings with pitching changes and pinch-hitting.
Another sellout crowd of over 43,000 remained loud throughout, energized for good with the Lobaton home run. On a windy day in the Naval Yard, the Nats leave for LA in great shape.