Jayson Werth and the Washington Nationals forced a deciding Game 5 in their NLDS series with the St. Louis Cardinals. They will now attempt to match the effort of the San Francisco Giants and pull off a huge comeback to reach the NLCS.
Werth experienced a moment that young baseball players dream of—he launched a 3-2 pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning over the fence for a walk-off home run. To be fair, most kids dream of that moment securing a World Series win, but Werth is plenty happy to have his moment force a final game of the NLDS.
Kyle Lohse was hoping to fulfill a dream of his own by helping the Cardinals advance for the second time this postseason. He grabbed the win over the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card Game.
But Lohse had one big mistake on the day, surrendering a monster 417-foot home run to Adam LaRoche in the second inning.
He allowed just two hits and earned a no-decision when he was replaced by Mitchell Boggs in the eighth inning.
The issue for both teams was getting hits, as both teams finished with three on the day. In fact, it was so difficult for the Cardinals to get into the hit column that they ended up scoring their run in the third inning without one.
Ross Detwiler opened the inning on the mound by walking Pete Kozma, one of three free-passes on the day. Kozma reached third after a Lohse sacrifice bunt and an error on the ball hit by Jon Jay.
Carlos Beltran pushed Kozma the final 90 feet with a sacrifice fly.
The score was still tied 1-1 after Boggs worked a scoreless eighth inning.
The Nationals relied on their bullpen to force a decisive fifth game.
Jordan Zimmermann, the losing pitcher from Game 2, came in to pitch the seventh inning. He struck out the side and was relieved by Tyler Clippard who did the same in the eighth inning, albeit with a walk mixed in.
Drew Storen attempted to copy that effort in the ninth, but finished the inning with a pop-fly after a pair of strikeouts and a walk. That would be enough to earn him the victory.
Lance Lynn came on to work the ninth inning and threw 13 pitches, all to Jayson Werth, who watched the first four pitches, the first two registering as strikes.
Werth then fouled off six straight pitches before the count evened at 3-2. After one more foul he dropped the ball over the left-field fence securing the win and forcing Game 5.
The final game begins on Friday at 8:37 p.m. ET. Adam Wainwright will face Gio Gonzalez.