Washington Nationals Bullpen Helps Preserve Game 3 Win

Oct 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) pitches during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Shawn Kelley (27) pitches during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the 2016 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Washington Nationals bullpen ended up shutting out the Dodgers for the final 4.2 innings in a 8-3 win over the Dodgers

Throughout this NLDS between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers, the bullpens have played a major factor. That trend held true today as neither Gio Gonzalez nor Kenta Maeda finished five innings.

That being said, the Washington Nationals got enough offense from Jayson Werth and Anthony Rendon (two home runs, four RBI’s combined) as they defeated the Dodgers, 8-3. They now have a two games to one lead in the series with Game 4 taking place tomorrow at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles got the first run of the game in the first against Gonzalez. After Justin Turner walked, Corey Seager drove in a run for the third straight game with a double to right center. But, that lead wouldn’t last long.

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In the top of the third, Trea Turner led off the inning with a base hit. Then, Jayson Werth doubled down the right field line to tie the game. With Werth on third and one out, Bryce Harper singled to right to put the Nats in front.

After the Harper single, Rendon crushed a two-run home run to left, which gave the Washington Nationals a 4-1 lead. The third inning would be the last for Maeda as he gave up four runs on five hits, struck out four, and walked two in the loss.

Two innings later, Dave Roberts made a smart decision, which got the Dodgers back in the game. With one out, Carlos Ruiz came up to pinch-hit against Gonzalez and he hit a two-run home run to left to cut the Nats lead to 4-3. Dusty Baker would bring in Sammy Solis after that home run. As for Gonzalez, he went 4.1 innings, gave up three runs on four hits, struck out four, and walked one in the no-decision.

From there, it became a battle of the bullpens. The Dodgers had plenty of chances to tie the game in the middle innings, but the trio of Solis, Oliver Perez, and Shawn Kelley gave up two hits and struck out five in a combined 3.2 innings.

Solis was able to shut down the Dodgers offense for the third straight game as he struck out one in 1.2 innings to record the win. With a man on and one out in the seventh, Kelley made his postseason debut and struck out three of the five batters he faced in 1.2 innings.

In the ninth, Werth got a critical insurance run when he led off the inning with a solo home run against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. It was Werth’s third hit of the day as the right fielder went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s. Jansen walked Murphy and hit Harper with a pitch after the home run.

Two batters later, Ryan Zimmerman hit a double to right that was dropped at the wall by Josh Reddick, causing two runs to score. Chris Heisey capped off the ninth with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly as Jansen gave up four runs in less than an inning. Mark Melancon got the final three outs on nine pitches to secure the win.

Next: Bullpen Key To NLDS Win

Next Game: Game 4 of the NLDS between the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers will take place tomorrow. The game time (as of now) is scheduled for 5 PM ET. You can watch the game on Fox Sports 1. Neither team has announced their starter yet.