LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Dodgers hoped to keep their World Series dreams alive tonight as they headed back to the ravine for the winner-take-all National League Division Series Game 5 against the Washington Nationals.
At the start of the game, it looked as if the boys in blue were ready with a Joc Pederson double followed by a Max Muncy home run in the first inning and a home run by Kike Hernandez in the second that brought the score to 3-0.
In the sixth inning, an Alex Rendon double followed by a Juan Soto single to score Rendon against Walker Buehler brought the score to 3-1. But it was in the eighth that the Nationals were able to catch up, tying the game 3-3 against reliever Clayton Kershaw with a pair of home runs to start the inning.
At the top of the 10th, a grand slam by former Dodger Howie Kendrick against Joe Kelly gave the Nationals a decisive 7-3 lead that held through the end of the game.
"If the blame falls on me, I've got no problem with it," Dave Roberts, Dodgers Manager, said after the game. "I feel that my job is to put guys in the best position to have success, and if it doesn't work out, there's always going to be something against me, and I've got no problem wearing the brunt of that."
The boys in blue were just one win away from advancing to their fourth straight National League Championship Series, and Roberts said before the game that playing in front of a home crowd would give the team a slight edge.
"I know it's going to be sold out," he said. "I expect the crowd to be waving the rally towels from the first pitch, and we certainly feed off that emotion and that energy; we play great at home.
"Obviously, there's familiarity with the ballpark, our routine. Walker likes being at home, our guys hit well at home. I expect it to be electric."
Buehler started Game 5 against the Nationals, pitching just over six innings and allowing a single run.
"I think in those kind of games, I think it also helps to know that you've got everyone behind you, kind of all hands on deck," Buehler said. "And you go as long as you can, as good as you can, and try to get out of it clean.
"We're excited. I think the thing that's kind of lost in playoff baseball is that it's really fun, and I think the pressure and things like that, if you spin it in your head the right way, can make it more fun, so that's our plan."
for more features.