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Los Angeles Dodgers Advance To NLCS

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MLB

The Los Angeles Dodgers advance to NLCS with Game 5 win over Nationals

With a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS, the Los Angeles Dodgers have advanced to the NLCS.

The Dodgers started the game in an early hole when Danny Espinosa singled home Daniel Murphy in the 2nd to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. That run came off Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill who was pulled after 2.2 innings. Hill only gave up one earned run on three hits while striking out six batters. The Dodgers replaced Hill with Joe Blanton, who tossed 1.1 innings of no-hit ball before yielding to Julio Urias who many believed should have started Game 5. Urias had not pitched in two weeks but tossed two shutout innings and eventually earned the win.

The score remained 1-0 Nationals until the 7th inning when the flood gates opened. Joc Pederson took Max Scherzer deep on the first pitch of the inning to tie the game at one. That would be Scherzer’s last pitch of what was a wonderful start. He went six innings and allowed one run on five hits while striking out seven. Washington would end up using six pitchers to get through the 7th which set a postseason record.

With the game tied at one, Carlos Ruiz singled home a run to put the Dodgers up 2-1 in the 7th. Los Angeles was not done as Justin Turner would mash a two-run triple to put the Dodgers up 4-1.

Washington would mount a comeback in the bottom of the 7th as pinch-hitter Chris Heisey would hit a 373-foot, 2-run home run to pull the Nationals within a run. That is when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would put closer Kenley Jansen in the game for a nine out save. Jansen would only last seven outs but would maintain the lead for the Dodgers. Roberts would pull his closer with one out in the 9th after Jansen threw a career high 51 pitches.

Needing two outs to advance to the NLCS, Roberts turned to star pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw recorded the final two outs on just seven pitches to earn the first save of his major league career.

Game 1 of the NLCS between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs will be Saturday, October 15th with coverage starting at 8:08pm eastern on FS1. The Cubs have already decided on Jon Lester as their Game 1 starter but the Dodgers will need to figure out their starter in the coming days.

With Kershaw pitching three times in the division series and Rich Hill getting the start in Game 5, it would make sense for the Dodgers to start Kenta Maeda in Game 1. The Dodgers are not worried about that right now as they are living the high life after their Game 5 win over the Nationals.

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