WASHINGTON -- Even before Game 5 of the National League Division Series started between the Nationals and Dodgers on Thursday night, Washington manager Dusty Baker announced he already packed his bags for the NL Championship series against the Cubs.Unfortunately for Baker and the Nationals, Washington would be eliminated from the
WASHINGTON -- Even before Game 5 of the National League Division Series started between the Nationals and Dodgers on Thursday night, Washington manager Dusty Baker announced he already packed his bags for the NL Championship series against the Cubs.
Unfortunately for Baker and the Nationals, Washington would be eliminated from the postseason a few hours later as the Dodgers won the game, 4-3. It marked the third time in five years Washington was eliminated in the NLDS.
"Well, it's not going to be very pleasant, because I'm not ready to go home," Baker said after the loss. "I haven't been home since February, but I would have gladly stayed a couple more weeks."
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Second baseman Daniel Murphy noticed that the Dodgers never panicked even when they were down, 2-1, in the series.
"It's a good ballclub," Murphy said of the Dodgers. "It was a fun series. Unfortunately, we came up on the wrong side of it."
Los Angeles did something the Nationals didn't expect to see in the final game of the series: Closer Kenley Jansen entered the game in the seventh inning, while ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw recorded the first save of his Major League career.
"You know, they were doing everything they could to close that game out, including bringing Jansen in in the seventh," Baker said. "Wish they would have brought somebody else in, but they brought in one of their other horses. And so I'd be interested to see, you know, they won the war, but see the effects of Jansen and Kershaw when they get to Chicago."
Right-hander Max Scherzer did everything he could to help the Nationals advance to the NLCS. He was dealing until the seventh inning, when he allowed a solo home run to Joc Pederson to tie the game at 1.
"The effort everybody gave tonight was unreal," Scherzer said. "Up and down everybody gave their best, [the Dodgers] executed just a little bit better than us. That's probably one of the craziest, if not the craziest game I've ever been a part of in my career in my life. Man, this is a tough one to be on the wrong side of."
Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats.