Nationals Stun Dodgers In 10th Inning For Historic Win And Postseason Advance

Nationals celebrate big win The Washington Nationals had never won a playoff series since moving to the District of Columbia. Four times since 2005 they’d been in the National...

(Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports)

Nationals celebrate big win

The Washington Nationals had never won a playoff series since moving to the District of Columbia.

Four times since 2005 they’d been in the National League Division Series and failed to clinch (three times falling in a Game 5), watching from the dugout as someone else celebrated.

A win doesn’t change the past, but it extends the present and lends hope for the future.

The Nationals scored twice in the eighth inning on Wednesday night to tie the Los Angeles Dodgers at 3-3 and broke out in complete glee in the 10th inning when Howie Kendrick hit a grand slam. The Nationals won 7-3 and eliminated the Dodgers in five games.

“We’ve never done it before,” said first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who was drafted by the Nats in 2005. “A lot’s been made out of that.”

So a season that began slowly with a 12-19 start and rumors manager Dave Martinez might be fired rolls toward a different destiny. The Dodgers, who won a club-record 106 games this season, will extend a World Series drought of 30 years.

The Nationals move on to play the St. Louis Cardinals, who vanquished the Atlanta Braves 13-1 on the strength of 10-run first inning in Game 5. Seven of those runs (six earned) came at the expense of Mike Foltynewicz, who managed to get only one out while allowing three hits and three walks. The Cardinals are in the NL Championship Series for the first time since 2014.

The last matchup will be decided Thursday evening as the upset-minded Tampa Bay Rays try to take Game 5 in Houston from the Astros for a berth against the New York Yankees in the ALCS. Game time is 7:07 p.m. ET. FS1 will televise.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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