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Stunned Nationals can't appreciate craziness of Game 5

Stunned Nationals can't appreciate craziness of Game 5

WASHINGTON — The Nationals hugged each other tightly, congratulated each other on a good season — a season that ended abruptly and painfully. 

This was a postseason classic, for sure. A game that will be talked about for years. 

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went to his closer, Kenley Jensen with none out in the seventh, and once the big man threw 51 pitches, it was time for Clayton Kershaw. 

Before the game, Roberts insisted that Kershaw would “absolutely not” pitch. The daring moves by Roberts didn’t matter to the Nationals. It was all too painful. 

“That’s what baseball’s about,” Bryce Harper said. “I thought we played a great five games, and we weren’t able to get the job done.” 

Harper could appreciate what happened. 

“They brought in their horse. They brought in the guy that’s got them through a lot of seasons. That’s why Clayton Kershaw is one of the best,” Harper said. 

Nationals manager Dusty Baker used six pitchers in the bizarre 66-minute seventh inning, one that saw the Dodgers score all four runs. 

After Joc Pederson homered off Max Scherzer, Baker started the parade with left-hander Marc Rzepycynski, who walked Yasmani Grandal, and that was Los Angeles’ second run. He took the loss.

“It starts with me. In the seventh inning, if I don’t walk that guy, who knows what happens?” Rzepczynski said. 

“They’re going to talk about how they brought Kenley in in the seventh inning and then Kershaw finished. No matter what, we came up a hit short. It’s going to be tough to swallow for a little bit, I know.”

Daniel Murphy finished the five game series with a .438 average (7-for-16). 

He scored the Nationals’ first run in the second inning but popped to second as Kershaw’s first batter. 

“In today’s game, in short playoff series, [you’re trying] to get your best relievers in the highest leverage situations, and he did, and then he doubled down and got maybe the best pitcher in the planet in there in the biggest spot of the entire game,” Murphy said. 

While he understood Roberts’ strategy, he couldn’t appreciate the theatre, the four hours, 32 minutes of wackiness. 

“Probably a little too close right now. The wound is still pretty fresh in here. I’ll probably more be thinking about the pitch that I got from Clayton that I thought I could have done a little bit more with,” Murphy said. 

“We’re not going to see each other until spring training. It’s frustrating and sad. Those are some of the things that hurt the most.”  

The stunned Harper who has now been part of three National League East title teams has seen his season end in the Division Series all three times. 

He wasn’t in the mood to reflect on the sheer amazement. That’s for fans. 

“I didn’t really think about what was going on or anything like that,” Harper said. 

“Watching from afar, you’re going to see everything that happens.” 

Had the Nationals won, Chris Heisey would have been a hero. He hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh that helped the craziness get started. 

“It happened really quick. It takes a little bit to sink in,” Heisey said. “I thought we had a chance the whole game.”

Early this season, Heisey ended a 16-inning game with the only game-ending home run of his career, so he knows dramatics. 

“It just wasn’t meant to be tonight,” Heisey said. 

“It was a great game to be a part of. It just stinks to be on this end of it.” 

[RELATED: Bullpen, baserunning cost Nats in loss to Dodgers]

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Report: Nationals OF Adam Eaton out for season with torn ACL

Report: Nationals OF Adam Eaton out for season with torn ACL

Nationals outfielder Adam Eaton has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season, Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday.

Eaton sustained the injury in Friday night’s 7-5 loss to the Mets when he stepped awkwardly on the bag while beating out a throw to first in the ninth inning. He then collapsed and needed assistance off the field.

The Nationals initially announced earlier Saturday that Eaton would go on the 10-day disabled list with a left knee strain. They also have since called up outfielder Rafael Bautista from Triple-A Syracuse.

The Nationals acquired Eaton in a trade with the White Sox in December in exchange for pitching prospects Luca Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning.

The 28-year-old Eaton was hitting .297 with a .393 on-base percentage and 24 runs scored for the 16-8 Nationals.

Michael A. Taylor replaced Eaton in centerfield during the Nationals’ 5-3 loss to the Mets on Saturday.

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Bullpen falters again as Nationals drop 2nd straight to Mets

Bullpen falters again as Nationals drop 2nd straight to Mets

WASHINGTON -- The New York Mets wobbled into Nationals Park this weekend with a six-game losing streak, beset by injuries and lined up to face Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and the team with the best record in the majors.

Two days later, things don't look quite so bleak.

Michael Conforto hit two home runs and slumping Jose Reyes also connected, leading the Mets over the Washington Nationals 5-3 Saturday.

"It feels great because they've got a great club and they're red-hot," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

"When you face arguably two of the best pitchers in the game two days in a row and come out with two wins, that's huge for us," he said.

After being swept at home by the Nationals last weekend the Mets have a chance to flip the script on Sunday and even the season series at three games apiece. Even though it's still April, the importance of this series wasn't lost on the Mets skipper.

"We know we've got a long track, we've got to try and get back in the hunt, and that's what we're trying to do, put some wins on the board and try and get back in this thing," Collins said.

The Nationals were still steamed over a no-call involving a steal by Jayson Werth in the fourth inning.

Werth swiped second as Jose Lobaton struck out, and got up and tangled with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera when the throw skipped away. Werth kept heading to third and was thrown out by a wide margin.

Werth argued along with Washington manager Dusty Baker that he should've been awarded the base because of the block.

"I saw him point obstruction, and then he gave some jive explanation that really didn't make sense to me," Baker said of second base umpire Angel Hernandez.

Werth saw the same thing that his manager. When asked after the game about how an umpire can point and not get the bag, Werth responded: "You're asking the wrong person at this point. I clearly don't know the rule."

A request to talk to the umpires was submitted too late to get comment.

Conforto's two-run homer in the fifth gave the Mets a 3-1 lead and his sixth home run of the season made it 4-2 in the eighth. It was Conforto's second multihomer game in the majors -- as a rookie, he did it in Game 4 of the 2015 World Series against Kansas City.

"It's huge," Conforto said about winning the first games of series against Washington's two star pitchers.

"But you know, we had a feeling that this was coming. We have a lot of faith in ourselves. Things were going bad for a bit, but there's no panic in here," he said.

Hansel Robles (4-0) came in to start the sixth and retired five of the six batters he faced, striking out four. Jerry Blevins then took over and fanned Bryce Harper.

Jeurys Familia, pulled Friday night in the ninth while Washington tried to rally, retired three straight hitters to earn his first save of the season.

Familia, who led the majors with a team-record 51 saves last year, began this season serving a 15-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

Strasburg (2-1) gave up three runs in seven innings. He has gone exactly seven innings in all five of his starts this season.

Ryan Zimmerman hit a home run in the eighth to cut the deficit to 4-3. Zimmerman, who also had two singles, drove in all three Nationals runs and now has 11 homers this season to go along with 27 RBIs.

Zimmerman's shot broke a tie with Andre Dawson to move into second place on the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals franchise list with 226.

Reyes hit a solo shot in the ninth, his second of the season.

Michael A. Taylor had three hits in his first game since replacing the injured Adam Eaton in center field for the Nationals. Taylor doubled in the first and added singles in the third and fifth.

Mets starter Zack Wheeler pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five hits and allowing one earned run while striking out four.

RELATED: ADAM EATON OUT FOR SEASON WITH TORN ACL