Nationals Handle Dodgers in Game 4, Force Game 5 in Los Angeles

max-scherzer

To say that Washington came through in a mandatory, must-win Game 4 would be an understatement.

Not only did the Nationals defeat the Dodgers, but they did so in convincing fashion. Riding the right arm of Max Scherzer, the Nats pitching staff limited the Boys in Blue to just five total hits, eventually cruising to a 6-1 victory and tying the 2019 NLDS at two games apiece.

Los Angeles starter Rich Hill, as courageous as his comeback has been, was spotty at best. His poor command had gotten the best of him in the end, as the veteran lefty was unable to last three full innings. Hill looked decent through two, but fell apart in the third inning after issuing three walks and a single before being replaced by righty Kenta Maeda.

Things looked good early for the Dodgers after Justin Turner took Scherzer deep in the top of the first inning, providing the Dodgers with an early one-run lead. However, Turner’s blast would be the only run the Washington pitching staff would surrender.

Once the smoke settled on his night, Scherzer threw 109 pitches over seven full innings, allowing one earned run on four hits and three walks while striking out seven.

Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson continued the clutch pitching for Washington, shutting down the mighty Los Angeles offense in the eighth and ninth innings en route to the win.

Conversely, the Dodgers used six different pitchers on the evening. About the only two who looked remotely effective out of the entire group were Maeda and rookie righty Dustin May.

The brunt of Washington’s damage came on one swing from veteran Ryan Zimmerman when he took Pedro Baez deep to center in the fifth. That one cut alone resulted in three runs crossing the plate.

Heading into the sixth, the Nationals had built a comfortable 5-1 lead.

Washington tacked on an insurance run in the very next frame when Trea Turner led of the inning with a ground-rule double to left.  Turner advanced to third on a Ross Stripling wild pitch and later scored when Anthony Rendon sacrificed to center. Turner scored two of Washington’s six runs on the night after reaching base three times in five tries.

The Washington victory forced a winner-take-all Game 5 in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Walker Buehler will throw for the Dodgers as the Nationals will counter with right-hander Stephen Strasburg.

First pitch is slated for 5:37 PM Los Angeles time.

 

12 thoughts on “Nationals Handle Dodgers in Game 4, Force Game 5 in Los Angeles

    1. Well if they are going to advance this year, they are really going to have to work for it. 17 and 18 they pretty much blasted their way through. Milwaukee took them to seven last year, but their pitching kept the Brewers in check that game. As for today’s game, it all went south when Urias came in. I think Ol Davey pulled Maeda an inning too soon. Urias was all over the place, so that forced Roberts to have to call on Baez, who made one bad pitch. I look for Buehler to pitch one of his best games. That kid loves pressure. As for the bats, they beat Strasburg once this year. They can do it again.

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      1. Baez gave up two hits and a walk. In two playoffs appearances, he still hasn’t even completed a full inning. he’s up to four hits and a walk in just two-thirds of an inning pitched. To me, he looked off-balance a bit tonight. I thought I detected his front foot wobble a little bit on his step towards home a few times.

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  1. Why did Roberts pull Meada should have let him bat and pitch the next inning. He was doing good. Instead let that $ 50 mill BUST Pollock hit ( strikeout ) Have no idea why they signed him. He is slow and poor defense.
    Roberts just can’t stop changing pitchers. He cost Dodgers 2017 series

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    1. Sorry I have to disagree about Pollock being a bust. I do think Roberts pulled Maeda too soon, and it cost him. But Pollock did pretty much what they figured they would get when he was healthy. And he was their hottest hitter for most of September. Granted, he has had a bad series, but he is not the only one. Up until yesterday’s game, Bellinger, Seager and Pollock were all ofer. Bellinger was worse in the 17 series. I thought he should have left Martin, Kike and Taylor in the lineup since they all had good games. But statistically, Scherzer is much better against RH hitters. I would not have played Lux against him though. He looked totally over matched.

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  2. Hey Bear is Pollock a good friend or relative of yours? He is so lost at the plate in his 10 wiffs has he even fouled one pitch off ? Or missed on every swing. He was the hottest hitter in Sep’t but the season is 6 months long.If we make it to the next round I hope he will be left off the roster

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    1. Well Larry, I am not going to lay on the blame on AJ. He is there for a reason and the reason is his solid play after he got healthy. He has not hit at all, that is true. But the only two guys in the lineup are hitting. Turner and Muncy. Martin, Kike and Taylor have played one game and produced more than Seager and Bellinger combined. You can hope he will be left off of the roster, but there is no way that happens if they are lucky enough to beat Strasburg on Wednesday. Players fail in the playoffs, like Scoop says, it happens. Who would have thought Kike would hit 3 homers in a playoff game? But he did against the Cubs at Wrigley a couple of years ago. Cody has not been Cody for months. While he was flailing away, his K rate rising, Pollock, Seager, Turner, and Pederson carried the load. Smith is having a bad series too. Last time I checked, Lux is not exactly tearing the cover off of the ball. And the Dodgers themselves are not really hitting the DC starters, they are pounding the bullpen. Other than yesterday, the Dodger pen has pitched pretty well. If you want to lay the blame on one guy, I think your vision is way to narrow, there is plenty of it to go around.

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  3. Pollock has been a disappointment. It happens.

    Home field, Scherzer vs Hill. Distinct advantage for Washington. That’s why they were favored. We will be favored in Game 5. I expect the team to take care of business at home. Of course, I thought the same thing in ‘17 when the team laid an egg in Game 7. Won’t happen again. Right?

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  4. I think it all depends on our offense. It has been our Achilles heel against good pitching in October. Turner andMuncy need some help! We have to put 3-4 runs on the board! And Striker needs to bring his A game! It will be interesting to see if Strasburg continues to throw as much off speed as last time. Got to love elimination games!

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    1. That is their game plan Rich. Scherzer used it to perfection last night. He quit trying to throw the ball through the wall and mixed his off speed pitches in and had the entire team off balance. I was praying that the rain would have stopped the game when it was still 1-1 just so he would not come back out to pitch.

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  5. This is what they play, and get paid for.

    In four games we are OPSn .762, with a batting average of .228. Washington is even worse in both stats. The Yankees continue to clobber, no surprise there.

    Bellinger is hitting .200 with and OPS of .561. Francoeur was suggesting Cody may be coming out of it. I don’t see it. He’s hit a couple hard perhaps, but none in the air. If he can’t put a few in the seats this team is collared. We need him.

    Lux may look overmatched at times but his OPS in 10 plate appearances is .856. I leave him in there. Same with Beaty. Pollock doesn’t see another at bat unless it’s against a LHer.

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