You wouldn’t know it from the final score that this was a 1 run game from the 5th inning until the top of the 9th inning. The Nationals take a 2-1 lead in the series in the best of 5 NLDS with game number 4 tomorrow in Los Angeles.
The Nationals bullpen has now gone 12 1/3 scoreless innings. They were stellar as each reliever did their job. Shawn Kelley came up huge as he pitched 1 2/3 innings and entered with Chase Utley on 1st base in the 7th inning. Melancon finished off the 9th inning, but was not credited with a save as he entered with a 5 run lead.
Anthony Rendon had the game winning RBIs on a two-run home run in the 3rd inning to make the score 4-1. Gio Gonzalez exited the game in the 5th inning after he gave up a two-run home run to pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz to make the score 4-3 in favor of the Nationals.
The score remained 4-3 until the top of the 9th inning when Jayson Werth led-off against Kenley Janssen with a 450 foot mammoth home run. After that Ryan Zimmerman connected for an opposite field two-run double, and the last run scored on a Chris Heisey sacrifice fly for the final tally to make the score 8-3.
Jayson Werth went 3-4 with a walk in the game and averaged just 4.8 pitches per at-bat. Werth and Rendon were the offensive stars of the game, but every starting position player had a hit except for Daniel Murphy and Danny Espinosa. There was a double-switch to remove Espinosa who got up 3 times and was 0-2 with a HBP.
The Nationals had 16 baserunners tonight and all Nationals starting position players reached base safely via hit, walk or HBP.
By winning this game, the Nationals are in a situation they have never been in before with a 2-1 lead in a NLDS.