Clayton Kershaw saves wild Game 5 as the Dodgers advance to the NLCS

Clayton KershawPatrick Smith/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Washington Nationals 4-3 in Game 5 to advance to the NLCS and they got some help in the ninth inning from an unlikely source: Clayton Kershaw.

With the Dodgers protecting a 1-run lead in the ninth inning, manager Dave Roberts stuck with closer Kenley Jansen even though he came into the game in the seventh inning and had already thrown 37 pitches over two innings. Jansen struck out the first batter in the ninth, but then walked Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth.

At that point you could tell Jansen was on fumes. So manager Dave Roberts came out and signaled to the bullpen for Kershaw.

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In came Kershaw even though he had started Game 4 and thrown 110 pitches just two days earlier!

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So it was Kershaw with one out. The tying run was on second base, the winning run was on first base, and the left-handed hitting Daniel Murphy was at the plate.

Murphy, who hit .347 during the regular season, popped up to second base for the second out.

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Nationals manager Dusty Baker then went to pinch hitter Wilmer Difo with two outs.

With two strikes, Kershaw got Difo to swing at a nasty pitch in the dirt and it was game over.

The Nationals actually led the game 1-0 going into the seventh inning. However, Joc Pederson led off the inning with a solo home run off of Nationals ace Max Scherzer.

In a controversial move, Baker pulled Scherzer after the home run tied the game. Baker would then use five different relief pitchers in the inning as the Dodgers would eventually score four runs.

Another wild moment actually came earlier, in the sixth inning. With Werth on first base and two outs, third base coach Bob Henley inexplicably sent Werth home on a ball hit into the left-field corner. Werth was just rounding third base when the relay throw was approaching the infield.

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Werth was out by a country mile.

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After the Nationals closed the gap with a two-run home run by Chris Heisey in the bottom of the seventh, Roberts turned to Jansen in the seventh inning for the first time this season. He eventually escaped a bases-loaded jam to keep the lead at one.

Two innings later it was the Dodgers celebrating with Kershaw pitching in all three Dodgers wins in the series.

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