The Dodgers pulled out an intense, historic Game 5 win thanks to closer Clayton Kershaw (!)
Baseball in October is on another level sometimes. What went down at Nationals Park in the Dodgers' 4-3 victory over the Nats on Thursday night in Game 5 of the National League Division Series? Well, that was almost incomprehensible in its total absurdity.
The Nationals drew first blood when
Scherzer, to his credit, was dealing for most of the evening. The Dodgers didn't actually pick up a base hit until
The Nats tried to up their lead, 2-0, on a
Momentum seemed to be on the Dodgers' side afterward -- and by their side, we actually meant in
And the boys in blue were far from done in the inning. They rallied for four runs against FIVE Nationals pitchers, punctuated by a big
After rookie lefty
Kershaw heading to bullpen.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 14, 2016
Yes, the Dodgers' ace who already started Games 1 and 4 of this series, was warming up, maybe for the ninth inning.
Game 4 was two days ago, and he threw 110 pitches in it.
He's only had one day of rest.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Jansen walked
There he was, coming in to relieve an exhausted Jansen (who had thrown a career-high 51 pitches in 2 1/3 innings, also a career-high, while spectacularly keeping the Nats at bay).
Everybody was watching, especially the team in waiting:
The Dodgers' postseason nemesis,
Kershaw to face Murphy.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 14, 2016
At that point, the Dodgers had used Hill, Blanton, Urias, Dayton, Jansen and Kershaw -- a collection of pitchers that, when looked at in a certain way, is quite eye-popping:
LA P:— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 14, 2016
-in indy ball last yr
-retired in 2014
-rookie traded for CReed
-THE BEST PITCHER IN THE WORLD ON 1 DAY REST
Kershaw retired the dangerous Murphy on an infield popup, leaving Dusty Baker disgruntled:
And that brought up the Nats' last position player,
That went on for a while ...
There was also a warm embrace between Kershaw and Jansen, and it definitely looks like Kershaw is saying, "I've got your back, man!"
But wait, there's more! This was the first save Kershaw has ever recorded in his career at the big league level -- but it wasn't his first overall:
Yes, Jansen -- a catcher-turned-reliever who actually had two at-bats in this series -- caught Kershaw's very first save.
Talk about taking things full circle.
As if all of this wasn't already enough to make your head spin on its axis, it also made MLB history thanks to 20-year-old lefty Urias picking up the win:
According to @baseball_ref, nobody younger than Julio Urias (20 years, 62 days) has ever won a postseason game since 1903.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 14, 2016
See what's in store for this heavyweight NLCS showdown on Saturday, when the Cubs and Dodgers open up Game 1 at Wrigley Field (8 p.m. ET, FS1).