Ironically, Clayton Kershaw, the ace of the Los Angeles Dodgers, blighted the last hope of his team. The Dodger Stadium saw Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Dodgers and the Washington Nationals on Wednesday (local time).
The hosts were leading the game 3-1 until the 7th inning, and Manager Dave Roberts brought in Kershaw as relief pitcher. It was a game that he couldn’t afford to lose, and in fact, the Dodgers manager had announced his plan to ready Kershaw, the symbol of the Dodgers, in the bullpen. And it seemed the ace lived up to the expectations, striking out the first batter with three pitches.
The early part of the inning was favorable for the Dodgers. The pitch of Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who came back onto the mound in four days after leading the victory for his team in Game 2, seemed to have waned both in power and movement compared to his latest outing. In the bottom of the 1st inning, Strasburg conceded a massive double to Joc Pederson after a video refereeing confirmed it before immediately allowing a two-point homer by Max Muncy. Strasburg appeared shaky in the 2nd inning as well, getting yet another homer by Enrique Hernandez. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler, who had rested for five days after leading the win in Game 1, proved to excel in an important game. Buehler, who left the mound with two outs in the 7th inning, contained the batters of the Nationals only with a single run.
Kershaw stepped up as relief pitcher to seal the victory, but the Dodgers ace blew another save, following his defeat in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, going down as a pitcher who ruined the Post Season of the Dodgers, one of the strongest World Series favorites this year.
The Washington Nationals, which have made the Division Series as Wild Card, are scheduled to play the best of seven games against the St. Louis Cardinals that have advanced to the Championship Series after sinking the Braves 13-1. It was 38 years ago that the Washington Nationals last reached the National League Championship Series when their precursors Montreal Expos made the cut in 1981.
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