Brewers vs. Nationals final score: Dramatic eighth inning exorcises Washington’s playoff demons
The Nationals trailed from the first inning until the eighth, but Soto’s single off left-hander Josh Hader put the home team ahead, and Washington advanced to face the Dodgers in the NLDS by winning its first elimination game since relocating from Montreal.MORE: Watch select MLB playoff games live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)Milwaukee held a 2-0 lead after two batters. Nationals ace Max Scherzer walked Grisham to start the game and surrendered a two-run home run to catcher Yasmani Grandal on the next pitch.Brewers first baseman Eric Thames hit a solo shot in the second to take a 3-0 lead and continue Scherzer’s postseason struggles. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner would settle down to work through five innings, but his shakiness remains a concern going forward.Crucially, right-hander Stephen Strasburg was nails in the first relief appearance of his career, striking out four in three scoreless innings.That allowed the Nationals to remain within striking distance. Shortstop Trea Turner launched a solo homer in the third — the only run of the night off Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff, who threw four innings — but Washington’s lineup was quiet otherwise. Hader entered in the eighth, protecting the 3-1 lead and looking to secure a six-out save.The unraveling began with one out, when he hit pinch-hitter Michael A. Taylor on the hand. The play was reviewed to see if the pitch had actually hit the knob of the bat first, but the call on the field stood. Hader followed that by striking Turner out, but pinch-hitter Ryan Zimmerman blooped a broken-bat single into center field, and third baseman Anthony Rendon worked a full-count walk to load the bases.Soto then lined a 1-1 pitch into right field, and Grisham overran it, allowing the ball to squirt past him. He retrieved it and caught Soto between second and third, but all three runs had already scored, and all the momentum had shifted.Hudson allowed a one-out single in the ninth but nothing else, setting off the Nationals’ first playoff celebration since moving to D.C.Brewers vs. Nationals: Live score, updates, highlights from NL wild-card gameFinal: Nationals 4, Brewers 311:08 p.m.: Nationals win. Daniel Hudson allows a one-out single in the ninth but nothing more, and Washington advances to face the Dodgers in the NLDS. What a turn of events.10:56 p.m.: Soto gives the Nats the lead! A single to right that would’ve merely tied the game gets past Grisham, allowing the go-ahead run to score. Soto is caught between second and third to end the inning, and we head to the ninth with Washington suddenly leading 4-3.10:55 p.m.: The Nationals load the bases with two outs. Soto is at the plate. Hader is laboring, past 28 pitches, and the bullpen is active.10:35 p.m.: Brewers closer Josh Hader enters in the eighth, looking to protect a 3-1 lead.10:13 p.m.: Drew Pomeranz closes the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts, and Strasburg does the same to take us to the seventh-inning stretch.9:57 p.m.: A double play helps Stephen Strasburg keep Washington’s deficit at 3-1 in his first inning of relief.9:50 p.m.: Dozier reaches on a throwing error by third baseman Mike Moustakas, but Turner flies out ot left to send us to the sixth inning.9:43 p.m.: Victor Robles singles off Brewers reliever Brent Suter, which brings Scherzer’s spot in the lineup to the plate. Brian Dozier will pinch-hit, ending Scherzer’s start.9:35 p.m.: Scherzer puts a couple of runners on via walks but escapes any damage in the fifth. The bullpen began to warm up, though, so it’s not cleear how much longer he’ll be out there.9:20 p.m.: Woodruff closes his night with a 1-2-3 fourth inning. He’ll be pinch-hit for in the fifth.In 2019, @B_Woody24 averaged 96.2 mph on his fastball.Tonight, all 38 of his fastballs were 96.9 mph or faster. 😱 pic.twitter.com/zEOYHNL5ih— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 2, 20199:00 p.m.: HOME RUN, Nationals. Trea Turner launches a solo homer with two outs in the third. B3: Brewers 3, Nationals 1.. @treavturner gives the Nats a spark. pic.twitter.com/9yJnRzt3lI— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 20198:52 p.m.: Scherzer retires the Brewers in order in the third, though Grandal just missed his second homer of the game.8:45 p.m.: Kurt Suzuki puts a charge into one, but it’s caught at the wall to end the second inning. Left fielder Ryan Braun runs off gingerly after making the play, unclear what happened.8:39 p.m.: Howie Kendrick is the Nationals’ first baserunner, singling through the left side with one out in the second.8:28 p.m.: HOME RUN, Brewers. Eric Thames leads off the second with a solo shot. Scherzer is struggling early. T2: Brewers 3, Nationals 0.2 homers in 2 innings?That’ll quiet the home crowd. pic.twitter.com/vWAbwG2Op4— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 20198:24 p.m.: Brandon Woodruff works a 1-2-3 first inning.8:16 p.m.: Scherzer settles down to retire the next three batters. Some damage done, though. 8:11 p.m.: HOME RUN, Brewers. Scherzer walks the leadoff man on two close pitches, and Milwaukee catcher Yasmani Grandal pulls the first pitch he sees for a two-run shot. T1: Brewers 2, Nationals 0.Get up! Get outta here! Gone! pic.twitter.com/aK3MAKDkLv— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 20198:09 p.m.: Max Scherzer’s first pitch is a fastball that misses way outside, and we’re underway.8:02 p.m.: Here are your starting lineups:LET’S. GET. W👁LD. #Scherzday // #STAYINTHEFIGHT pic.twitter.com/xrRYWYHcvF— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 1, 2019The #Brewers Wild Card lineup is here. #MKEHistory | #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/UolgrkcQ9b— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 1, 2019 Nationals outfielder Juan Soto started celebrating even before was tagged out between second and third to end the eighth inning. He knew he had supplied a potential knockout blow in an eventual 4-3 NL wild-card win over the Brewers on Tuesday. He couldn’t contain his enthusiasm.Soto’s would-be game-tying single turned into a go-ahead hit when Brewers right fielder Trent Grisham let the ball roll past him. A shutdown ninth inning from Washington right-hander Daniel Hudson ensured Soto’s heroics didn’t go to waste.