Washington Nationals: Three Takeaways From NLDS Game 5
Decision To Send Werth Looms Large
Many years from now, when Washington Nationals fans look back at this game, the decision by Bob Henley to send Jayson Werth in the sixth inning is going to be something everyone will question.
With the Nats up 1-0 and two outs, Zimmerman doubled into the left field corner. Andrew Toles was able to get to the ball quickly for the Dodgers and Henley decided to send Werth home, but he was out by a mile, which ended the inning.
Now, Danny Espinosa was on deck and would’ve had to hit with men on second and third. But, Espinosa was having a good night at the plate. His RBI single in the second inning against Rich Hill was the Washington Nationals at that point in the game.
This season, the Washington Nationals were an aggressive team at the bases. But, that was a terrible decision by Henley to send him. If you watch the play, the Nats third base coach is not in a position to see whether or not Toles got to the ball.
Once that inning ended, you got the sense the momentum switched over to the Dodgers because that game wasn’t going to stay 1-0 for very long. On the first pitch of the following inning, Joc Pederson hit a home run off Scherzer to tie the game.
During this game, the Washington Nationals did steal four bases, but you could look back at the seventh inning where Bryce Harper stole second on a Werth strikeout as a pivotal point. If Werth doesn’t strikeout, the Dodgers don’t intentionally walk Daniel Murphy (second time in the game). In the end, Henley’s decision is going to haunt the Washington Nationals for a long time.