We are heading back to the Capital for Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
After the Cubs took a 2-1 series lead, the Nationals kept their season alive on Wednesday after a wild 24 hours that revolved around weather and Stephen Strasburg.
Let’s start with the weather. Game 4, which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, would be postponed. The game was then moved to Wednesday. And with it, came an opportunity for the Nationals.
They could start Stephen Strasburg.
But after the game was postponed, Dusty Baker announced that Strasburg was ill. And, that he could not compete in Game 4. Instead, original starter Tanner Roark would take the hill.
Then Wednesday hit.
In the late morning, it was announced that Strasburg would, in fact, take the hill. According to Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo, Strasburg came to the organization after taking different antibiotics and announced that he was good to go.
And boy, were the Nationals happy he could.
Jake Arrieta was on the bump against Strasburg, but looked shaky—only lasting four innings, giving up one run (unearned), striking out four and walking five. The one run that crossed the plate on Arrieta occurred in the third when Ryan Zimmerman grounded a ball to a charging Addison Russell who couldn’t handle it—allowing Trea Turner to score.
Now back to Strasburg, who was flat out amazing. Strasburg pitched seven shutout innings while striking out 12, walking just two and only allowing three hits. The Cubs were baffled once again by Strasburg, who has now compiled 22 strikeouts in the NLDS—tying a division series record held by Justin Verlander—who did it back in 2012.
7 shutout IP? ✔️
Strike out the side? ✔️✔️✔️
Single-game franchise #Postseason K record? ✔️
It was a good night. pic.twitter.com/qWCqEmEvqp
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 12, 2017
The Nationals would put the game away in the eighth, taking a 5-0 lead with a Michael A. Taylor grand slam off of Cubs’ closer Wade Davis. Michael A. Taylor, folks. Only one run would be credited to Davis, though. One went to Jon Lester as well, who started the inning. The other two were charged to Carl Edwards Jr.
BRING US YOUR POTATO EMOJIS! 🥔 pic.twitter.com/xYF9skjdo5
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) October 11, 2017
The Nationals would ultimately take the game 5-0 and even the series up at two apiece.
So will the Cubs move on to the NLCS for a third straight year? Or, will the Nationals finally break through?