NLDS: Fly The W, Cubs Return To The NLCS
Will the Cubs return to the Fall Classic?
It was one inning, just need three outs to keep the momentum going, but the Washington Nationals, even with Ace Max Scherzer on the mound, who came on in relief in the fifth inning, could not shut down the Cubs, but instead imploded and gave away the series.
The Chicago Cubs have moved onto the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers and it was one big inning that ended the Nationals season.
The Cubs took an early 1-0 lead in the first on a ground out from Anthony Rizzo scoring Jon Jay.
In the bottom of the second, Daniel Murphy hit a solo shot and then Michael Taylor added a three run bomb to put the Nats up 4-1.
The Cubs answered back with two runs in the third on a ground out from Addison Russell and a wild pitch during Jason Heyward‘s at bat.
Up 4-3 in the fifth, Dusty Baker felt putting starter Max Scherzer on the mound would increase his teams chances of shutting down the Cubs offense and keep his team in the lead, but that idea backfired before his eyes.
Scherzer was able to retire Kris Bryant on a ground out and Rizzo on a fly out. But then Willson Contreras singled, pinch hitter Ben Zobrist singled and Russell doubled down the left field line scoring both runners to take a 5-4 lead.
After walking Heyward intentionally, next batter Javier Baez struck out swinging, but the ball got away from catcher Matt Wieters allowing Baez to reach base. On the same play, Wieters decided to throw to first but the ball got away allowing Russell to scamper home with the sixth run.
Tommy La Stella was then awarded first base after Wieter interfered with the batter as he hit the catchers glove on his swing. Next batter Jay was then walked to drive in the seventh Cubs run, extending the lead to 7-4.
And inning that had much hope for the Nationals, ended with the team trailing by three runs.
Russell struck again in the sixth inning, adding another run on an RBI double to center field scoring Zobrist.
The Nationals still had some life in their bats as they added two runs in the bottom of the frame on a wild pitch from Mike Montgomery and an RBI double from Murphy to pull within two runs at 8-6.
The Cubs added an insurance run in the seventh, when Kyle Schwarber scored on a ground out from Bryant.
The Nationals chipped away at the lead again adding a run in the seventh on a sac fly from Bryce Harper and one in the eighth on an RBI single from Taylor, but that is how close the Nats would get as they fell to the Cubs 9-8.
The Nats championship drought will continue for another season, while the Cubs look to return to the World Series for a second season in a row.
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