MLB

Nationals earn Dodgers date after rallying past Brewers in NL wild-card game

By Sports Desk October 01, 2019

The Washington Nationals erased a deficit to stun the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 and advance to the MLB's National League Division Series.

Tuesday's wild-card clash saw the Nationals stage an improbably comeback in the eighth inning in front of a sold-out crowd of 42,993 at Nationals Park.

The Brewers had Josh Hader on the mound and the Nationals had the bottom of the line-up at the plate.

But Michael Taylor was hit by a pitch, Ryan Zimmerman reached on a broken-bat single and Anthony Rendon walked to load the bases.

Then Juan Soto broke the Brewers' hearts as the Nationals earned a NLDS showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

 

Oh no!

Oh no! Oh no!

There was no other way to react and nothing else to say in the bottom of the eighth as the Nationals batted with two outs and the bases loaded down 3-1.

First, Soto did a great job of putting the ball in play and likely tying the game with a single to right field. That was good. But here is where the "Oh no!" comes in.

Rookie Trent Grisham – who is only playing right field because Christian Yelich is sidelined for the remainder of the season due to injury — let the ball bounce off his glove and go behind him. That mistake allowed Rendon to score from first and gave the Nationals the lead.

There is nothing else to say but "Oh no!"

It was just a gut-wrenching moment for a player in Grisham who has been a great story this year. Just heartbreaking.

Baseball in 2019

If a friend of yours had no idea what baseball was like in 2019, if he or she watched the first five innings of Tuesday's game they would get a perfect microcosm of the sport today.

- The first two runs of the game were scored on a walk and a home run.
- All four runs were scored via the homer.
- Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff only threw four innings.
- Woodruff threw 19 pitches over 99 mph after throwing 29 over that speed all season.
- Eric Thames hit a home run with one arm on a curveball down and out of the zone.

Baseball is a power-hitting, hitter-friendly, quick-pull game in 2019. This is not your father's game, but it is what is in store for the 2019 postseason.

Scherzer's postseason career is beginning to look a lot like Kershaw's

There is zero doubt Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw's are Hall of Famers. They are arguably the best right- and left-handed pitchers of their generations and will go down in history among the greatest. But there is little doubt Kershaw's career is marred by mediocre playoff performances. And at this point, the same goes for Scherzer.

The three-time Cy Young winner gave up three runs in five gruelling innings for the Nationals on Tuesday and put his team in a 2-0 hole before he even got an out. Yasmani Grandal smacked a home run on the first pitch he saw after Trent Grisham walked to lead off the game.

He also put the Nationals down 3-0 before he recorded an out in the second on Thames' homer. Scherzer had been just OK with the Nationals in the playoffs coming into Tuesday's game, but after it was over his numbers were shockingly average. In five career postseason games with Washington (four starts), Scherzer has gone 0-2 with a 4.06 ERA. He has given up five home runs in 24.3 innings with 18 hits and nine walks. 

His career postseason ERA now sits at 3.82. Kershaw's sits at 4.32. Scherzer is now 4-6 and Kershaw is 9-10. These two are all-time greats, but they, unfortunately, will always be seen as pitchers who struggled in the biggest moments.

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