It’s been evident for weeks that the Dodgers would be running out the clock over the last month of the season.
On Saturday, that exercise turned literal in a rain-delayed, extra-inning, seven-hour marathon against the Washington Nationals.
In what felt like ages after the originally scheduled 4:05 p.m. Eastern time first pitch at Nationals Park, the two teams finally reached a resolution shortly before midnight, when a wild pitch by Dodgers reliever Gus Varland scored a winning run for the Nationals in an 11-inning, 7-6 walk-off victory.
The loss kept the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch the National League West division at nine games. It also snapped their two-game winning streak, dropping them to 3-6 in their last nine games.
Max Muncy hit his 34th home run of the season, a two-run blast in the eighth inning to cut the Dodgers’ deficit to 5-4. Kolten Wong delivered a run-scoring single later in the inning to tie the score.
The teams traded runs in the 10th inning on RBI singles by Kiké Hernandez and Keibert Ruiz.
After the Nationals advanced the extra-inning baserunner to third with a bunt, the Dodgers recorded an out on a fielder’s choice that froze the runner at third. Varland then threw the next pitch in the dirt to pinch-hitter Joey Meneses that got by Smith to seal the Nationals’ win.