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Dodgers Sweep Double-Header Behind Gutsy Performances



The Dodgers managed to take both of Saturday’s games from the Washington Nationals improving their record to 19 – 27, and moving within six games of the NL West leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

Game One: Dodgers 4, Nationals 1 

The first game of double-header featured a 11 a.m. PT start-time after inclement weather postponed Friday night’s game.  Yasmani Grandal put the team ahead early with a sacrifice fly in the top of the first, scoring Joc Pederson who started the game with a lead-off triple.  Ross Stripling was tough as nails, tossing 6 innings of 1 ER baseball after a Bryce Harper two-out single in the third. He delivered a career-high 9 strikeouts, and handed a 3 – 1 lead over to the bullpen.  

It would prove to be plenty, as the combination of Chargois, Fields, and Jansen held the National’s offense scoreless.  Muncy built some momentum for the day, driving in 2 of the 4 runs on a double and a sacrifice fly.  Stripling received the win, improving his record to 1-1 – to go along with his dazzling 2.08 ERA. Jansen earned his 7th save of the year. Pederson and Logan Forsythe both collected multiple hits.

Game Two: Dodgers 5, Nationals 4

The second game of the day was far more interesting; the Dodgers collecting their first win of the season when trailing after 8 innings was reminiscent of last year’s come-from-behind magic. 

Joc Pederson further made his case as a lead-off man, doubling off of ace Max Scherzer to start the game.  He was promptly driven in by another Max Muncy RBI. On the defensive side the team was met quickly with disappointment after seeing starter Rich Hill exit after just 2 pitches (blister).  But perhaps it proved to be a motivating factor for the next two Dodgers’ pitchers: Scott Alexander and Pedro Baez, who looked solid tossing a combined 4 innings of no-hit baseball. Offensively it was a grind against Scherzer who was dominant over 7 innings (121 pitches) – allowing just 5 hits.  Muncy managed to break through with a 5th inning wall-scraper – his 4th home run of the year and 4th RBI of the day.

History was made as Max recorded his 13th strikeout, propelling him to become the fastest starting pitcher ever to record 100 strikeouts in a season. But the rest of the night belonged to the Dodgers’ offense.  

After the National’s hit around in the bottom of the 6th, scoring 4 runs off three Dodgers’ relievers in the inning (Garcia, Cingrani, Hudson), Cody Bellinger responded with his 7th home run of the season putting the Dodgers within one heading into the 9th.  Barnes opened the frame with a two-strike opposite field single against Doolittle, and Forsythe quickly responded with a bloop single. With runners on first and second, Doc elected to have Matt Kemp pitch hit for Pederson – a decision that paid dividends.  Kemp drove a double down the left-field line scoring two and putting the Dodgers ahead 5 – 4.  

It was Doolittle’s first blown save of the season. Jansen closed out the bottom of the frame (8th save) and clinched a series victory and 3rd-straight win for a team that’s beginning to look a lot more like themselves.

[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-vs-nationals-game-one-postponed-due-to-weather-bs0193/2018/05/18/”]Dodgers vs. Nationals: Game One Postponed Due to Weather[/button]

Written by Isaac Castro

Born and raised in Southern California, his earliest Dodgers' memories are watching the games from his Grandmother's living room in Oxnard, CA and packing in on Friday nights with his family of 7 to Chavez Ravine. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Economics, and still resides in enemy territory. He plans on naming his first born after Chase Utley.

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