Game 3 of the National League Division Series belonged to the Nationals on Monday, as quality pitching and timely hitting helped Washington claim an 8-3 victory at Dodger Stadium and put the NL East champions on the verge of an NL Championship Series berth.Before the Nats try to take the
Game 3 of the National League Division Series belonged to the Nationals on Monday, as quality pitching and timely hitting helped Washington claim an 8-3 victory at Dodger Stadium and put the NL East champions on the verge of an NL Championship Series berth.
Before the Nats try to take the final step toward the next round in Game 4 on Tuesday (5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on FS1), here are a few facts and figures to know about Washington's Game 3 victory:
:: NLDS: Dodgers vs. Nationals coverage ::
• Monday's win gave the Nationals their first chance in franchise history to clinch a postseason series in four games or fewer. It's only the second time the franchise has led a series since the team moved to Washington D.C. in 2005. The 2012 Nationals led the Cardinals, 1-0, in that season's NLDS before eventually dropping the series, 3-2.
• The Nationals' eight runs marked the most the they have scored in a postseason game since moving to the nation's capital. The team's previous record output in October was seven runs in its 9-7 loss to the Cardinals in the decisive Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS.
• With his RBI double in the first inning, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager became the first player in franchise history to record a first-inning RBI in the first three games of the postseason.
• Seager also joined an exclusive club of youngsters, becoming only the fourth player to record three straight postseason games with an extra-base hit and an RBI before turning 23 years old. The last player 22 or younger to accomplish the feat was the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber last October.
• Monday's contest lasted four hours and 12 minutes, which set a new record for the Dodgers as the longest postseason game in team history. The previous record for Los Angeles was Game 1 of the 2009 NLCS, which lasted four hours and two minutes.
Monday's marathon paled in comparison to the Nationals' longest postseason game, however, which was their 2-1, 18-inning loss in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS -- a contest that lasted a record-tying six hours and 23 minutes.
Game 3 on Monday was long, but it did not stray from the overall trend of this NLDS so far. In fact, all three games have exceeded three hours and 45 minutes, making it the first postseason series in which each of the first three games lasted at least that long, according to ESPN.
• Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has shown this season that he is not afraid to use his bullpen or his bench, and he proved that Monday in record-tying fashion. Roberts called upon a total of 21 players in Los Angeles' loss, tying a franchise record for most players used in a postseason game. Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda also put in 21 members of his squad in Game 4 of the 1988 NLCS -- though that contest went 12 innings. Among those 21 players who took the field for the Dodgers on Monday were eight pitchers, setting a new postseason mark for L.A.
• Carlos Ruiz's pinch-hit, two-run home run in the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium conjured warm memories for L.A. fans. That's because it was the first pinch-hit, multi-run homer hit by a Dodger since Kirk Gibson's famous two-run, walk-off shot that beat the Oakland A's in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
• Washington's Jayson Werth did his former Phillies teammate, Ruiz, one better in the ninth inning -- at least in terms of grandeur. Werth blasted a 1-0 pitch from Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen a projected 450 feet, according to Statcast™, which made it the longest home run hit by any player so far this postseason. It was also tied for the third-longest postseason homer in the Statcast™ Era, falling behind blasts by Schwarber (459 feet) and Eric Hosmer (453) hit last fall.
• Werth's ninth-inning blast placed him alongside some all-time company. It was Werth's 15th postseason homer in his career, tying him with Babe Ruth for 11th on the all-time list. Werth's first postseason home run came in Game 2 of the 2004 NLDS -- as a member of the Dodgers.
• Werth's home run was just the fifth round-tripper given up all year by Jansen. The Dodgers' closer finished Monday with four runs allowed -- just the fourth time he's allowed four or more runs in a game over a total of 421 regular-season and postseason appearances.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.