MLB

Nationals force NLDS decider against Dodgers

By Sports Desk October 07, 2019

The Washington Nationals levelled their National League Division Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers courtesy of a 6-1 win.

Washington stayed alive in the MLB playoffs as they forced a deciding Game 5 against Los Angeles on Monday.

The Nationals will now head to Dodger Stadium for Wednesday's winner-take-all clash in Los Angeles.

 

Three takeaways from the Nationals' Game 4 win over the Dodgers

Washington had a boost from likely ... and unlikely places

Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman entered Monday having combined for five hits and one RBI through four postseason appearances this year, but both showed up in a big way when it mattered.

Rendon, who led MLB with 126 RBIs in 2019, went one for two at the plate and drove in three runs on the night — bringing his playoff RBI total to four.

Zimmerman, on the other hand, went two for four and notched the game's lone home run. He tallied three RBIs of his own on Monday.

The Nationals might have expected Rendon to pick things up, but Zimmerman's performance was a pleasant surprise.

The Dodgers' rotation struggled to make batters miss

A host of Los Angeles pitchers were used in short stints against Washington, and none of them were able to establish much of a rhythm. The Nationals simply kept putting the bat on the ball.

The Dodgers' six pitchers only tallied five strikeouts in the contest, and their starter Rich Hill forked up four walks in 2.6 innings of work. No matter who Los Angeles put on the mound, Washington were able to make contact and that sustained their confidence until the offense really got going in the fifth inning.

A lot of runners got left on base

This game could have looked a lot different if either side were able to take advantage of runners on base, as quite a few got stranded while looking to score.

The Dodgers left 15 runners on base in the contest while the Nationals totalled 14. Both Los Angeles and Washington averaged fewer than seven runners left on base per game in 2019.

A few big hits could have helped the Dodgers flip the script, and both teams will want to eliminate their struggles to capitalise on scoring opportunities come Wednesday.

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