Today’s Dodgers-Nationals NLDS Game 1 was what all the sweat, grit, blood, and peanut shells during the long, hot summer were all about.
It was playoffs baseball: Clayton Kershaw, a steady bullpen, and the Dodgers lineup with a Rookie of the Year. Let’s get to the game…
On the 6th pitch of the game, and the first pitch he saw, Corey Seager blasted a home run to center field that just kept gaining altitude, picked up some wind, and sailed over the wall. 1-0
The Dodgers caught a scare when Justin Turner was HBP on his lower right hand. He showed a lot of pain at the plate, but took his base and seemed all right.
Kershaw strikes out the side.
2nd inning. 1-0
Kershaw in a bit of trouble. Two outs and bases-loaded, but Max Scherzer at the plate. In an uncomfortably crowded short left field, Corey Seager caught Scherzer’s high pop up to end the inning.
Justin Turner came up and cashed in some payback for his HBP with a two run blast over a leaping Jayson Werth. 4-0
With two on and two out, Kershaw gave up a base hit to left field that scored both runners. 4-2
Kershaw stayed in trouble and soon returned to 2 on and two out. He finally got a strike out on a high fastball that I would have appreciated seeing him throw to the previous three batters.
66 pitches for Kershaw at the end of three.
4th inning 4-2
Kershaw continued to throw the ball where Grandal’s mitt was not. He gave up a long double to left field. A FC and sac fly cashed in the Nats’ run. 4-3
5th inning 4-3
Dodgers go down 1,2,3. (Again)
Same Kershaw story that we’ve seen all day. Struggling pitcher trying to hold a lead with two on and two out. Job done!
6th inning 4-3
Justin Turner looped a one-out single for his second hit of the game. He took second on a passed ball. Josh Reddick came up with two out, and of course left Turner standing on third.
Joe Blanton in. After two out and one on, he was done.
Grant Dayton in. He induced a long fly ball to right-CF that Joc Peterson was calling for. The Wild Horse, Yasiel Puig helicoptered it, stealing the catch and almost running over Pederson in the same motion.
7th inning 4-3
Finally it was the Dodgers’ turn to have two on and two out. Chase Utley putted out on a weak ground ball.
Pedro Baez in. Job done.
8th inning 4-3
There was this…
Kenley Jansen in for the 5-out save.
Jansen gave up a two out double. With no one coming behind him, Jansen had to get the last out. He got it with a borderline low, strike three call.
9th inning 4-3
Yasmani Grandal and Howie Kendrick each singled, to give the Dodgers two on and two out once again.
The Nationals walked Yasiel Puig. Up came Kenley Jansen! He struck out, but he wasn’t cheated, as he swung mightily at every pitch.
Kenley Jansen vs Nationals
Turner: 3-pitch srike out!
Werth: K swinging!
Dodgers Win! 4-3
Well done, Kersh: Kershaw burned through far too many pitches today, as he evidently did not have any of his pitches consistently working. There were too many meetings between Kershaw and Grandal, and too many pitches that missed too much of the plate. He was not attacking hitters, and was constantly delivering pitches 12 inches away from Grandal’s waiting mitt.
The Nationals smelled blood, and tried their best to punish Kershaw. He gritted it out, and being Kershaw, he was able to hang on and hand the bullpen a lead.
ROY Corey Seager became the youngest player to hit a postseason home run.
Roberts was half right: It was a great move to start Andrew Toles, but a ridiculous one to bat him 8th, while batting anemic Josh Reddick 6th, behind Adrian Gonzalez. The Traded Flop repeatedly came up empty when we needed hits in the middle of the line up. That said, the Dodgers held on for a big win tonight.
Not a bad opening act.
Clayton Kershaw (W 1-0) went 5 innings with 8 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk and 7 Ks. ERA 5.40
Home runs: Seager, Turner
Team with RISP: 1 for 5 Needs improvement.