Fifty players used game-tying home runs, game-changing defensive blunders - the Dodgers-Nationals incredible 14 inning game Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium had it all.
In the end, a Justin Turner error triggered a three-run rally by the Nats in the top of the 14th inning, en route to their 8-5 win.
All three runs against Kevin Correia (7-16) were unearned but he still got the loss for his two innings of work.
In a matchup of the National League’s two winningest teams, the Nats left town having beaten the Dodgers twice in the three-game series and four out of six overall this season.
The Dodgers defense let them down in that decisive 14th. With one out and the score tied, Ian Desmond hit a routine grounder to Turner, who had been moved to shortstop. It’s a play Turner makes 99 out of 100 times, but this time he lollygagged getting to the ball. His throw to first pulled Adrian Gonzalez off the bag allowing Desmond to reach on the error.
"There’s no excuse for that. The ball just sailed on me," Turner said after the game.
Bryce Harper drew a walk. Desmond then took third on a wild pitch. Adam LaRoche then beat out a fielder’s choice to extend the inning and score Desmond. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a two-run home run to right to cap the scoring.
The Dodgers couldn’t mount a rally in the bottom of the inning and after five hours and 34 minutes, the game ended on a Carl Crawford groundout.
But, that doesn’t do the drama packed saga its justice.
Down their last out in the bottom of the 12th inning, Carl Crawford brought the Dodgers back from the dead with a two-run home run to left center to tie the score, 5-5.
It came after Adam LaRoche gave the Nationals a 5-3 lead in the top of the 12th with a two-run single to left with the bases loaded.
The game should've ended in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Jayson Werth lost a fly ball in the sun and dropped it. Andre Ethier came around to score from first base to tie the game, 3-3, and send into extras.
The turn of events in the ninth let Kenley Jansen off the hook.
Less than 24 hours after recording his 39th save, the Dodgers closer couldn’t repeat the feat, blowing his fifth save of the season.
Jansen killed a Nationals rally in the eighth inning but couldn’t hold them off in the ninth. Bryce Harper led off with a single to left. Adam LaRoche then came up to pinch-hit for Tyler Moore and hit a two-run home run to left field to tie the game, 2-2.
Later in the inning with a runner on third, Denard Span ripped a single to right that got past Adrian Gonzalez and put the Nationals up, 3-2.
Jansen was pulled.
Pedro Baez came in got Anthony Rendon to pop out to end the inning.
It was just the fourth time this year that Jansen was asked to go more than an inning to record a save. He was 3 for 3 in this previous attempts.
The Dodgers had their chances. They loaded the bases in the 10th and 11th innings with one out, but Adrian Gonzalez, Juan Uribe, Drew Butera and Dee Gordon all failed to drive in a run. In fact, only Butera put the ball in play.
The Dodgers 0 for 4 showing with the bases loaded Wednesday dropped their Major League worst team batting average in those situations to .172 (17 for 99).
A failed challenge helped get the Dodges get on the board in the seventh inning. With one out and Crawford on second base, Turner was adamant that he got hit in the left forearm by a 2-2 pitch from Jordan Zimmermann. Home plate umpire Paul Schrieber said no. Don Mattingly challenged the call and lost.
Good thing he did.
Turner took a 3-2 fastball and drove it over the center-field fence for a two-run homer to put the Dodgers up, 2-0.
Turner and Crawford provided the bulk of the Dodgers offense going a combined 6 for 13 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBIs.
LaRoche drove in five runs and had his imprint was all over the game. He didn’t make an appearance until the ninth inning, but his home run tied the game in the ninth, his 12th inning hit gave the Nats the lead and his fielder’s choice in the 14th scored the game-winning run.
Carlos Frias was impressive in his first Major League start for the Dodgers. The lanky right-hander only surrendered three hits, didn’t allow a run, he walked one and struck out four in six innings.
Zimmermann was equally solid for the Nationals. He held the Dodger offense in check during most of his 6 ⅓ innings of work only allowing four hits and the two-run homer to Turner.
Blake Treinen (2-3) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Just to show how quirky the game was, here as some combined stats: There were 19 pitchers used, eight pinch-hitters (including Doug Fister who started Tuesday night’s game), 476 pitches thrown and 30 strikeouts.
To top if off, the 50 players used by both clubs came just four shy of the Major League record of 54 total players used in a 1992 game between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, according to ESPN Stats & Info.