In grand fashion, Nationals go extras to advance to NLCS

Dodgers vs. Nationals Betting Picks, Odds & Predictions: Can Strasburg Outpitch Buehler, Kershaw?

Dave Roberts sent Kershaw back out in the Top of the 8th to face Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick, instead of Kenta Maeda despite Maeda's recent performance in the series.

The Cardinals have now reached the Championship Series for the first time since 2015 and the Nationals are the last hurdle remaining between them and a first appearance at the World Series in six years, when they triumphed over the Boston Red Sox 4-2. The left-hander retired the two batters he faced, concluding the game with a strikeout of Wilmer Difo, to push the Dodgers to the first of their three straight trips to the National League Championship Series.

The plan then called for Roberts to go to Clayton Kershaw, who came in for the Dodgers with two on and two out in the seventh and struck out Adam Eaton to end that threat. Eaton worked a 1-2 count to earn a walk, then Rendon, after falling behind 0-2, hit a ground-rule double to left, putting runners on second and third with no outs.

After fouling off a first-pitch knuckle-curve from Kelly, Kendrick, looking to get a fly ball to the outfield to score a run on a sac fly, did himself a good bit better, taking the 97-mph fastball to right-center, 410 feet, for the slam that put the Nats, down most of the evening, suddenly up four.

"It was electric. Probably the best moment of my career", said the 36-year-old Kedrick, a 14-year big league veteran.

Kendrick was 4 for 19 with one RBI in the series and had made a pair of errors at first base in the Game 1 loss. Sean Dolittle retired the side in order in the 10th to end the game and give the Nationals their first victory in a postseason series.

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The Dodgers have won seven consecutive National League West titles but have not won the World Series since 1988. Kershaw has never once allowed home runs on back-to-back pitches in the regular season.

"Everything everyone says about me is true right now about the postseason". "I'll take my chances any day on Clayton".

L.A. tacked on another run in the bottom half of the second when Kiké Hernandez took Stephen Strasburg deep as well, extending their lead to 3-0 after two innings. Everyone thought it was gone. Max Muncy, who had been 0 for 12 against Strasburg, drove a fastball over the center-field wall.

Strasburg ended up going six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking one.

The Dodgers counter with Walker Buehler (six scoreless innings in Game 1).

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