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The Sports Report: Dodgers lose Game 2

468191_SP_1004_dodgers_nats_nlds12_WJS.jpg
Stephen Strasburg
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

DODGERS

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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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:

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw stumbles on big stage again in losing Game 2 of NLDS

Dylan Hernandez: Nationals’ pitching strategy makes the Dodgers look clueless in Game 2 of NLDS

Dodgers’ comeback falls short in NLDS Game 2 loss to Nationals

Stephen Strasburg continues to roll in leading Nationals past Dodgers in Game 2 of NLDS

Gavin Lux’s grasp of Dodgers lore as fuzzy as Dennis Eckersley’s mustache

NLDS schedule

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

*-if necessary.

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

*-if necessary

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

*-if necessary

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

*-if necessary

RAMS

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.”

SPARKS

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

AND FINALLY

Dodgers-Nationals Game 2 highlights. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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