2019 NLDS Recap: Nationals Tie Series As Stephen Strasburg Shuts Down Dodgers
Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg during Game 2 of the 2019 NLDS
Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Strasburg didn’t show any ill effects of pitching on two days’ rest after appearing in the Wild Card Game, as he answered the bell for the Washington Nationals to the tune of 10 strikeouts in six innings and their bullpen held on for a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Strasburg helped the Nationals rebound from being shut out in the opener to tie the National League Division Series at one game apiece as it shifts to Washington D.C. for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

Strasburg gave the Dodgers a steady dose of curveballs, mixing it and out of the zone to induce swings. He retired the first 14 batters faced and only had two balls leave the infield during that span.

It was on Kershaw’s sinking line drive to left field that Juan Soto made a diving catch on to end the third. Strasburg lost his perfect game on Will Smith’s two-out base hit in the fifth inning.

Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw was the victim of some self-inflicted damage. Trea Turner opened the game with a double down the third-base line, and a walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases with one out in the first inning.

Howie Kendrick found a hole on the left side of the infield for an RBI single before Kershaw could escape the jam — leaving the bases loaded. He then hit the leadoff man in the second inning to tie his regular season total.

That eventually led to an RBI single and run-scoring double, both with two outs, giving the Nationals a 3-0 lead. Kershaw retired eight batters in a row after Anthony Rendon’s double and had the streak snapped by the Nationals’ All-Star third baseman when he reached on a bloop single with one out in the fifth.

To Kershaw’s credit, he kept the Nationals off the scoreboard after the second inning. His quality start was all for naught, however, as the Dodgers offense never gained much traction.

Matt Beaty’s single and Joc Pederson’s double in the sixth inning gave them their first runners in scoring position. All that came of it was a run on Justin Turner’s sacrifice fly. L.A. pulled closer in the seventh inning on Max Muncy’s solo homer off Sean Doolittle, but the Nationals answered back with one of their own in the eighth and the bullpen held from there.