The Washington Nationals entered Game 3 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers hoping to take the series lead at home. A seven-run sixth inning from the Dodgers crushed any chance the Nats had. The Dodgers took Game 3 over the Nationals by a 10-4 final, putting Washington on the brink of elimination and Los Angeles one win away from the team's fourth straight NLCS.
Six of the runs from the sixth inning were charged to Patrick Corbin, who came in as a reliever in Game 3. Justin Turner's three-run homer off Wander Suero was the exclamation point on the inning. Russell Martin and Enrique Hernandez each recorded RBI doubles earlier in the frame.
The Nationals sent Anibal Sanchez, not Max Scherzer, to the mound in Game 3. Sanchez had a great start, finishing his five-inning outing with one earned run, nine strikeouts (a season-high) and just two walks. For the Dodgers, Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu gave up two earned runs and four hits over five innings.
The two teams will face off again at Nationals Park on Monday for Game 4 with the Nationals in a win-or-go-home predicament.
For more on this game, here are our big takeaways.
Why the Dodgers won
After the Dodgers were quieted in Game 2, they bounced back in Game 3 and retook the lead in the best-of-five ALDS series. The seven-run sixth inning (more on the record-setting rally here) highlighted the strength of this Dodgers team, and that's the club's depth. Opposing pitchers don't get a single break in the Dodgers lineup, and every single batter can an offensive threat.
NL MVP candidate Cody Bellinger got himself out of a slump in Sunday's win as he kicked off the sixth-inning offensive onslaught with a single off Corbin. With two outs, Martin and Hernandez each delivered two-run doubles. That inning had the Dodgers depth on full display and Dave Roberts successfully used three pinch-hitters in the inning.
Why the Nationals lost
After the decision to go with Anibal Sanchez over Max Scherzer for Game 3, Sanchez put together an impressive outing for Washington. He left the mound with his club up by one after striking out nine and giving up just four hits and one earned run. But without any bullpen support after Sanchez's outing, the Dodgers took full control of the game. Bringing Game 1 starter Patrick Corbin out of the bullpen didn't work for the Nats.
Even after Corbin got pulled, two other relievers (Wander Suero, Hunter Strickland) combined to give up three more runs. Sanchez, Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Daniel Hudson have given up just five runs in 22 innings this postseason. Every other pitcher on the Nats staff has combined to allow 16 runs in 13 innings.
This should go without saying, but the turning point in this game was the Dodgers seven-run sixth inning. It was sparked by Martin's two-run double and was part of a four-RBI night for the 36-year-old catcher.
Play of the Game
Without Justin Turner's three-run homer, there wouldn't have been a seven-run inning. Turner's shot off Suero capped the offensive outburst and ultimately got his team closer to a return to the NLCS.
The NLDS between Los Angeles and Washington continues with Game 4 at Nationals Park on Monday. The expected starters are Rich Hill (4-1, 2.45 ERA) and Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA).
We were keeping track of all the big plays, highlights and more from Sunday's night game and you can relive it below. If you are unable to view the live updates below, please click here.
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