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Corey Seager struck out with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to send the faithful away disappointed as the Washington Nationals defeated the Dodgers, 4-2, in Game 2 to even the best-of-five NLDS.
“You battle, you grind it out, and he ended up winning the battle,” Seager said.
A comeback was necessary after Stephen Strasburg outpitched Clayton Kershaw. He held the Dodgers to one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out 10 and didn’t walk a batter.
Kershaw’s early-game struggles from the regular season — he compiled a 5.79 ERA in the first inning — seeped into Friday. The Nationals ambushed him for a run in the first inning and two more in the second. He plunked two of the first eight batters he faced after hitting two of 706 batters during the regular season. He needed 44 pitches to secure six outs.
And as he did in most of his regular season starts, Kershaw discovered a groove after the turbulence. The left-hander retired 13 of the final 15 batters he faced after Anthony Rendon’s two-out double in the second inning. He managed to complete six innings on 99 pitches. He struck out four and walked one.
Trea Turner smacked the game’s first pitch, a 91-mph fastball in off the plate, past a diving Justin Turner down the left-field line for a double. The Dodgers caught a break when Adam Eaton gave away his at-bat attempting to drop a bunt. It was the only out Kershaw would secure before loading the bases for Howie Kendrick with a walk and hit by pitch. The former Dodger laced a one-out single through the hole on the left side for the game’s first run.
The Nationals left the bases loaded, but added two more runs in the second frame. Kershaw ignited the trouble by plunking Victor Robles to lead off the inning. Adam Eaton knocked Robles home with a two-out single. Rendon cracked the next pitch for an RBI double to give Washington a 3-0 lead.
“After that, I started getting leadoff hitters out better,” Kershaw said, “but it was a little bit too late obviously.”
Let’s take a look at the postseason numbers for pitchers who have won more than one Cy Young Award, ranked in order of ERA.
Sandy Koufax, 4-3, 0.95 ERA
Bob Gibson, 7-2, 1.89 ERA
Roy Halladay, 3-2, 2.37 ERA
Tim Lincecum, 5-2, 2.40 ERA
Jim Palmer, 8-3, 2.61 ERA
Tom Seaver, 3-3, 2.77 ERA
Denny McLain, 1-2, 3.24 ERA
Steve Carlton, 6-6, 3.26 ERA
Greg Maddux, 11-14, 3.27 ERA
Tom Glavine, 14-16, 3.30 ERA
Pedro Martinez, 6-4, 3.46 ERA
Randy Johnson, 7-9, 3.50 ERA
Roger Clemens, 12-8, 3.75 ERA
Max Scherzer, 4-5, 3.78 ERA
Corey Kluber, 4-3, 3.97 ERA
Johan Santana, 1-3, 3.97 ERA
Clayton Kershaw, 9-11, 4.33 ERA
Bret Saberhagen, 2-4, 4.67 ERA
Gaylord Perry, 1-1, 6.14 ERA
Read all our coverage and sign up for our Dodgers newsletter for even more analysis:
All times Pacific
Game 1: at Dodgers 6, Washington 0
Game 2: Washington 4, at Dodgers 2
Game 3: Sunday at Washington, 4:45 p.m., TBS, AM 570
Game 4: Monday at Washington, 3:40 p.m. (if Atl-StL series is still going), TBS, AM 570
Game 5*: Wednesday at Dodgers, 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., TBS, AM 570
St. Louis-Atlanta NLDS schedule
All times Pacific
Game 1: St. Louis 7, at Atlanta 6
Game 2: at Atlanta 3, St. Louis 0 (Read game story here)
Game 3: Sunday at St. Louis, 1 p.m., TBS
Game 4: Monday at St. Louis, noon, TBS
Game 5*: Wednesday at Atlanta, TBA, TBS
New York-Minnesota ALDS schedule
All times Pacific
Game 1: at New York 10, Minnesota 4 (Read game story here)
Game 2: Today at New York, 2 p.m., FS1
Game 3: Monday at Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., FS1
Game 4*: Tuesday at Minnesota, TBD, FS1
Game 5*: Thursday at New York, TBD, FS1
Houston-Tampa Bay ALDS schedule
Game 1: at Houston 6, Tampa Bay 2 (Read game story here)
Game 2: Tonight at Houston, 6 p.m., FS1
Game 3: Monday at Tampa Bay, 10 a.m., MLB Network
Game 4*: Tuesday at Tampa Bay, TBD, FS1
Game 5*: Thursday at Houston, TBD, FS1
Veteran linebacker Clay Matthews will have surgery and could be sidelined for at least a month after suffering a broken jaw during the Rams’ 30-29 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, coach Sean McVay said Friday.
Matthews was injured near the end of the game in Seattle when he was accidentally kicked by Seahawks running back Chris Carson during a tackle attempt.
“That’s not good for us,” McVay said during a teleconference. “That’s a big injury.”
Matthews, 33, signed with the Rams in March intent on proving he was still an effective pass rusher. Against the Seahawks, he had one sack and five tackles. He also drew a roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter that helped keep alive a Seahawks drive.
Matthews, who had a career-low 3 ½ sacks last season for the Packers, has six sacks this season, and 89 ½ in his career.
“It’s something you just hate for him because of how productive he’s been for us and what he’s meant to our team and all the things that he’s done,” McVay said. “It’s going to be a big loss. Guys are going to be asked to step up in his absence.”
Penny Toler’s more than two-decade tenure with the Sparks as a player and executive ended Friday when the team fired her in the aftermath of a profanity-laced tirade directed at players following a playoff loss, which included a racial slur.
“On behalf of ownership and the entire Sparks organization, I’d like to thank Penny Toler for a successful and historic tenure with the organization,” Sparks managing partner Eric Holoman said in a statement. “Penny is a foundational figure in the growth of the WNBA and helped lead our franchise to perennial playoff success and multiple titles. We wish her nothing but the best moving forward.”
The Sparks said in their statement that a national search for a new general manager would begin immediately. Toler, a founding member of the WNBA as a player and the Sparks’ general manager for 20 years, also was the club’s executive vice president. Holoman will take over her duties as the club searches for a replacement.
TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
Oregon State at UCLA, 6 p.m., Pac-12 Network
San Jose at Ducks, 7 p.m., Prime
Kings at Edmonton 7 p.m., FSW
BORN ON THIS DATE
1902: Padres owner Ray Kroc (d. 1984)
1917: Golfer Lew Worsham (d. 1990)
1937: College and NFL coach Barry Switzer
1962: Race car driver Michael Andretti
1962: Triple jumper Mike Conley
1963: Golfer Laura Davies
1965: NHL player Mario Lemieux
1965: NHL player Patrick Roy
1967: NBA player Rex Chapman
1972: NBA player Grant Hill
Dodgers-Nationals Game 2 highlights. Watch it here.
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