The epic 14-inning marathon game between the Dodgers and Nationals had more twists than a Spanish telenovela, and the ending had me in tears. The Nationals used 25 players including 18 pitchers, but came away with the 8-5 victory and series win over the Dodgers.
It was the longest game of the year for the Dodgers and Nationals lasting five hours and 34 minutes.
Carlos Frias and Jordan Zimmermann were locked into a duel for the first six innings of the early afternoon game at Dodger Stadium between the Dodgers and Nats. Both pitchers looked sharp. Even rookie Carlos Frias could do no wrong today. In his first career start for the Dodgers, Frias only allowed 3 hits through six shutout innings giving the Dodgers ample opportunity to secure the series win on Wednesday.
The Dodgers had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the ninth after Justin Turner hit a beautiful two-run shot to center field in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Dodgers had the Nats right where they wanted them, and Don Mattingly looked to his elite closer Kenley Jansen to give him the last four outs of the game for the win.
Jansen, who was previously 3-for-3 in four-out save opportunities before the Wednesday afternoon implosion, came in and got
the last out of the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, LaRoche’s two-run homerun and a subsequent third run on a Denard Span single, turned the game around again. This time the game swayed in Washington’s favor.
The Dodgers scratched and clawed for a run in the bottom of the ninth off Rafael Soriano thanks to a costly two-out error by former Dodger and current sasquatch Jayson Werth.
The Dodgers fumbled two consecutive bases loaded scenarios in both the bottom of the tenth and eleventh.
Each team scored two runs in the twelfth. Brandon League allowed two runs on a bases loaded single by LaRoche. The Dodgers, who seemed to be at the end of the plank, tied it up with two outs in the twelfth when Carl Crawford (with two strikes on him) came up with a clutch two-run homerun over the left-center field wall against Tyler Clippard.
The two first-place clubs were locked into a 5-5 tie until the fateful bottom of the fourteenth. The Nationals once again flexed their muscles against the Dodgers and showcased their hungriness to clinch a playoff spot this season. Kevin Correia allowed the two-run homerun in the fourteenth which would seal the deal for the Nats.
Dodgers 5 13 1
Nationals 8 12 2
WP- Treinen (2-3)
LP- Correia (7-16)
HR- Turner (5), LaRoche (20), Crawford (6), Cabrera (14)
Carlos Frias, in his first Major League start, made 12 pitches in the top of the first versus the Washington Nationals. He induced ground outs from Denard Span and Anthony Rendon. Jayson Werth drew a walk, but the umpire was squeezing the kid somewhat. Frias struck out Ian Desmond to record a scoreless inning. I can’t deny that I’d rather watch Carlos Frias pitch over Kevin Correia.
The Dodgers go down quickly in order against Jordan Zimmermann in the home half of the first.
Frias pitched around back-to-back singles by Bryce Harper and Tyler Moore to begin the second inning. Asdrubal Cabrera struck out, and Jose Lobaton flied out to Yasiel Puig in right field. Bryce Harper tagged up and made it to third, but Jordan Zimmermann grounded into a force out.
The only Dodger hit through five innings off Zimmermann was a two-out single by Justin Turner in the bottom of the second inning.
Joc Pederson collected his first Major League walk with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but Tim Federowicz struck out to end the inning.
Carlos Frias pitched very well through six innings. The rookie right-hander only allowed 1 hit through 6 innings and struck out 4 while walking 1 on 77 pitches.
Darwin Barney pinch-hit for Carlos Frias to begin the bottom of the sixth inning. Barney drew a lead-off walk from Zimmermann. Gordon, who is in a horrendous slump, can’t get the bunt down. He then lines into a double play. Barney couldn’t get back to first on time, and Moore placed the tag appropriately to get him. Of course, Yasiel Puig singled in the very next at-bat. Oh what could have been. Adrian Gonzalez popped out to Cabrera, and the game remained scoreless through six innings.
Jordan Zimmermann pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks on 94 pitches.
J.P. Howell came in to relieve Frias in the top of the seventh, and the left-hander pitched a scoreless inning. Cabrera singled on a 0-2 count, but Dee Gordon made a great defensive play at second to force Cabrera out on a Jose Lobaton grounder.
The Dodgers finally scored on a two-run homerun by Justin Turner in the bottom of the seventh. Carl Crawford doubled with one out, and Justin Turner hit one out over the center field fence!
Everything was copasetic until the top of the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen was brought in to the top of the eighth to get the final out of the frame after Brian Wilson retired the first two Washington batters. Kenley walked Werth, but he got the final out on an Ian Desmond fly ball.
The Nationals were not going down without a fight, and they rallied back in the top of the ninth to tie the game up 2-2 thanks to a two-run blast off Kenley Jansen by Adam LaRoche. Bryce Harper singled to lead off the inning, and that was not the last of the scoring in the inning for Washington. Lobaton singled with one out, and Washington used Danny Espinosa as a pinch-runner. With Steven Souza at the plate, Espinosa stole second base. Then Denard Span knocked in the lead run with a single drilled right past Adrian Gonzalez into right field. Espinosa brought in the third Washington run of the inning off closer Kenley who did not pick up his 40th save after that failure of an outing where he made 32 pitches.
Don Mattingly was forced to hook Jansen after he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk in just 1 inning. Pedro Baez was asked to get the last out. The last out mercifully came on a Anthony Rendon pop-out.
Rafael Soriano went to work in the bottom of the ninth to shut down the Dodgers. Gonzo was first-ball swinging, and he promptly flied out to right field. Andre Ethier drew a walk. Soriano struck out Crawford swinging. The game seemed to be over on a fly ball hit by Justin Turner, but Jayson Werth had trouble seeing the ball in the sun and it bounced off his glove for an error! Ethier scored to tie it all up 3-3. Joc Pederson came up to the plate with the winning run at second with Turner. Pederson had already struck out twice and walked once.
“Young Joc is taken to school.” -Vin Scully
Joc struck out for the third time, and the game moved on to extra innings.
Baez pitched a scoreless tenth, and the righty continued to impress.
A.J. Ellis walked and Dee Gordon singled in the bottom of the tenth against Washington reliever Craig Stammen. Yasiel Puig
singled to right, and the Dodgers loaded the bases up for Gonzo with one out. A.J. couldn’t score on that Puig base hit. For some reason Mattingly does not run for Ellis until after Puig’s hit when he brought in Erisbel Arruebarrena to run for Ellis at third base (later on we found out that Arruebarrena has a shoulder injury and is unable to hit). The lefty, Xavier Cedeno, was brought in to face Gonzalez who struck out on a breaking ball. Juan Uribe faced Aaron Barrett, the right-hander with the game on the line. Barrett struck out Uribe, and the Dodgers continue to fail with the bases loaded.
Jamey Wright hit LaRoche with a pitch to start things off on a bad note in the eleventh inning. Cabrera successfully got the sacrifice bunt down, and LaRoche advanced to second. Wright walked Sandy Leon, but he got two outs on ground balls from Kevin Frandsen and Denard Span to squelch the threat.
The Dodgers failed again with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eleventh inning against Jerry Blevins. Crawford and Turner hit consecutive singles, and Joc Pederson executed a nice sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Matt Kemp is intentionally walked. Even though Joc showed us his great baseball fundamentals with his perfect bunt, Mattingly essentially took the bat right out of Kemp’s hands. Drew Butera battled, but ended up popping up to Rendon at third after going 3-2. Dee Gordon struck out swinging to end the futile frame. It looked as though Gordon was swiped by a pitch, but the umpire ruled that he swung.
Brandon League was the next Dodger pitcher to get the ball. In the top of the twelfth, League walked lead-off hitter Anthony Rendon and allowed a single to Jayson Werth. Desmond struck out, but Bryce Harper then followed with a single to load the bases up. Unlike the Dodgers, the Nationals hit well with the bases loaded. The proof is in the pudding after Adam LaRoche banged a single to left field, and two runs came in. 5-3 Nats.
The everlasting game continued through the bottom of the twelfth inning after Carl Crawford tied it up 5-5 with a two-run blast off Tyler Clippard! The beat goes on…
Carl Crawford: 1st Dodgers player to hit a 2-out game-tying HR in extra innings since Steve Garvey did so against the Giants in 1981
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 4, 2014
Kevin Correia had to come in to pitch the thirteenth. It was the first time the Dodgers ventured into the thirteenth inning in a game this season. Correia pitched a scoreless thirteenth frame, but he wouldn’t be so lucky in the fourteenth.
Correia struck out Werth, but Ian Desmond reached safely on a costly throwing error by Justin Turner. Bryce Harper walked, and the obligatory wild pitch advanced the winning run to third. Desmond scored the sixth run for the Nationals on a force out grounded into by LaRoche. LaRoche was just safe at first by a half step. That set up the Asdrubal Cabrera homerun, which gave the Nats a 8-5 lead and the eventual win.
Adrian Gonzalez singled in the bottom of the fourteenth, but Treinen held off any more baseball and took the win home for the Nats.
The Dodgers drop to 78-62 on the season. The Giants lost to Colorado, so they remain 2 games behind the Dodgers in the N.L. West standings. Thursday will be an off-day for the Dodgers while they lick their wounds. Dan Haren will take the mound against the D-backs for the series opener.