Game 5 of the NLDS between the Dodgers and Nationals was one for the ages as both teams battled to stay alive and play in the NLCS against the Cubs. The Nationals had their best pitcher on the mound in Max Scherzer and the Dodgers countered with Rich Hill, but overall the game came down to gutsy managerial moves by Dave Roberts and a heroic closing performance by Clayton Kershaw to end the game 4-3.

Robert's wild managerial moves

Everyone knew who the starting pitcher for the Dodgers was going to be, but nobody expected how short of an outing Rich Hill would have. Dave Roberts took no chances in the 3rd inning in bringing in Joe Blanton with two men on after Hill threw just 2.2 innings and allowed only 1 run.

The odd decision in bringing in their set up man paid off as Blanton shut down the Nationals to maintain the 1-0 deficit.

After shocking the baseball world in bringing in Blanton, Roberts made another surprising move in bringing in the 20 year old Julio Urias in the bottom of the 5th. Robert's had said that he would bring the young star in, but to have saved his arm come in after Blanton was a move that had many in disbelief.

After the Dodgers had taken the 4-1 lead it seemed a guessing game as to how Roberts would manage his bullpen after already bringing in one of his best relievers in Blanton. The answer was Grant Dayton who eventually allowed 2 earned runs via a homerun and left a lot of Dodger fans and baseball people bewildered as to how they would pull off a victory without their best relievers.

Robert's turned up the volume on his surprises for the game as he brought in his closer Kenley Jansen for the 7th inning. Nobody saw it coming and the announcers for the game kept repeating how no team ever uses their closer in that type of situation. Jansen proved why he is one of the best closer's in the game and was able to get 7 outs, but after 2 outs remained to finish the game, he grew weary and tired which led to the ultimate shocking moment of the game when Roberts brought in their ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw after only one day's rest.

Clayton Kershaw had the most courageous performance of his career

Dave Roberts had told the media prior to the game that Clayton Kershaw would not be available. This fooled everyone as all were in disbelief when he came out of the bullpen for a two out save. Kershaw had previously been criticized for not proving his worth in postseason games, but all of that criticism went away after getting Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Difo for the final two outs to lead the Dodgers to the NLCS.

Everyone in baseball said it was one of the most amazing pitching performances they have ever seen after Kershaw showed no fear or hesitation in getting the ball and closing the game out to lead his team past the Nationals in the final game of the NLDS.

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