Washington Nationals: Good Season Ends in Heartbreak
By Ron Juckett
Washington Nationals drop decisive Game 5 to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-3, in NLDS finale. Dodgers move on to the NLCS as Nats prepare for offseason.
The Washington Nationals season ended early Friday morning when they fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Divisional Series.
In what will go down as an all-time classic, the Nats rallied, but could not crack Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw. The lose the game 4-3 and the series 3-2. The Dodgers move on to the NL Championship Series starting Saturday at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs.
Holding a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning, Ryan Zimmerman doubled and, for reasons that remain inexplicable, Jayson Werth was sent home by Bob Henley. Werth was a dead duck when he passed third and was out by a good 20 feet to end the inning.
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After Rich Hill could not make it out third, Joe Blanton shut down the Nats. Julio Urias came in and pitched two innings. He allowed the trouble in the sixth, but got out of it by Henley’s sending Werth for a certain out.
Max Scherzer, who pitched six brilliant innings, allowed a solo shot to Joc Pederson to start the seventh. In an endless parade of pitchers and pinch-hitters, the Dodgers scored four in their half of the seventh.
In perhaps the second guttiest call of the night, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts summoned closer Kenley Jansen with no one out in the bottom of the seventh for a nine-out save. Grant Dayton allowed a two-run bomb to Chris Heisey just before to cut the margin to 4-3.
In the ninth, Trea Turner singled. After Bryce Harper went down, Roberts rolled the dice again bringing in Kershaw to shut the Nats down.
In to face Daniel Murphy, Kershaw induced an infield pop out. Wilmer Difo pinch hit in the pitcher’s spot and struck out to end the season.
In a franchise used to heartbreaking losses, losing this one takes the cake. Evenly matched with the Dodgers, the Washington Nationals head into 2017 losing a 2-1 series lead and a gut wrenching Game 5 loss.
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For all you, this one is tough to swallow.