Thursday, September 29, 2022
HomeBaseballNationals left the Dodgers cold

Nationals left the Dodgers cold

In the middle of the campaign they seemed discarded. In the wild card game they were almost eliminated. In the Division Series they had to win twice in a row to survive. And in the decisive duel against the Dodgers they were down.

But these Nationals under manager Dave Martinez have never stopped fighting.

Howie Kendrick hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the 7th inning and Washington rallied from a three-run deficit to beat Los Angeles 3-XNUMX on Wednesday to meet St. Louis in the NL Championship Series.

"I'm really excited for the guys in this clubhouse, who have fought all year," said Puerto Rican Martinez, in the middle of the champagne bath.

Kendrick hit his bases-loaded homer off Joe Kelly, two innings after three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw squandered a 3-1 lead by giving up homers to Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on back-to-back pitches. .

Soto himself put Washington on the board with an RBI single in the sixth inning off starter Walker Buehler.

The Nationals, who crashed the October party with one of the wild-card tickets, will open the ALCS on Friday at the Cardinals' home. The Dodgers, a seven-time defending Western Division champion and NL-best 106 wins, will continue to yearn for a World Series title they've been denied since 1988.

Adam Eaton walked Kelly early in the XNUMXth, Rendon hit a double that caught the ball at the left-field fence and Soto was intentionally walked.

After hitting a foul ball, Kendrick found a 97 mph fastball and hit the ball just over the center-field wall for the second grand slam of his career. With the other, he ended an 11-inning game against San Francisco in August 2017.

Center fielder Cody Bellinger chased the ball to the wall, ending up leaning his arms against it, when he ran out of room.

“It was an electric moment, probably the best of my career,” said Kendrick, 36, who has spent 14 seasons in the majors, including stints with the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels. “We never give up. The city had faith in us. The fans believed and we believed in ourselves. Everything has worked out in our favour."

As soon as Kendrick's shot came, the crowd began to leave Dodger Stadium.

"To say we're disappointed is probably an understatement," manager Dave Roberts agreed.

Washington, which started the season 19-31, finished it 93-69. In the wild-card game, they overcame a 3-0 deficit in the eighth inning to beat Milwaukee 4-3. And in the series against Los Angeles, he turned a two-game deficit to one.

“Man, we have to keep fighting!” Rendon said. "I think that's maybe the story of this organization."

Daniel Hudson bagged the win. He retired Will Smith with a drive to the warning strip in right field with one out and a man in the trails in the ninth. Then he had Chris Taylor hit a harmless line drive to center.

Sean Doolittle pitched the XNUMXth inning for Washington.

The Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise won a playoff series for just the second time. The first was an unprecedented divisional game in 1981, caused by the players' strike, when the Canadian club defeated Philadelphia.

Kershaw, who will likely have a case for the Hall of Fame one day based on his successes in the regular season, nonetheless has a dismal playoff resume, which added a new chapter on Wednesday with his performance in relief of a Walker Buehler who had looked effective.

"I feel terrible," Kershaw acknowledged, substituted after the second homer. For the rest of the match, the caster sat alone inside the cave, his face buried in his hands.

For the Nationals, Dominican Soto 4-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs. The Venezuelan Asdrúbal Cabrera 1-0.

For the Dodgers, Puerto Rican Kiké Hernández 4-2 with a run scored and an RBI.

Leave a comment

Lastest news