For vanquished Nationals, an inning that will live in infamy

For vanquished Nationals, an inning that will live in infamy
NLDS Game 5: Cubs return to NLCS after wild victory over Nationals
But the turning point came when Max Scherzer allowed four runs in the fifth, with Addison Russell claiming a two-run double and giving the Cubs the lead.

Cubs outlast Nationals, return to NLCS

How can you explain a night that Cubs closer Wade Davis, who gave up the first grand slam of his career as a reliever in Game 4, comes back and produces the first seven-out save of his career, throwing a season-high 44 pitches?

Cubs Add a Chapter to Nationals' Painful Postseason History

As he skulked off the field, as Nationals fans poured through the exits, as the franchise faced another disappointment, the Cubs rejoiced, ready to defend their title, to take on the 104-win Dodgers. No longer were they the saddest-sack franchise. That title belongs to the team they beat.

Cubs outlast Nationals in wild Game 5, set to face Dodgers in NLCS The Canadian PressIn what inning will Joe Maddon prematurely lift Kyle Hendricks tonight?”I didn’t think I had him initially,” Rizzo said. “But on those bang-bang plays, you never know. It’s one of those you have to take a peek.”

Possible blown call highlights fifth inning meltdown by Nationals in Game 5 vs. Cubs

In 2016, the Cubs won 103 games, won the division, and overcame every postseason obstacle. About to fall to 2-2 in the best-of-five division series with the prospect of having to face San Francisco ace Johnny Cueto in the deciding game, the Cubs scored four runs in the 9th inning to win Game 4. Down two games to one in the National League championship series and having been shut out twice, the Cubs outscored the Los Angeles Dodgers 23-6 while winning three straight and besting Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw to win the pennant.

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National meltdown: Cubs stun Washington, earn return trip to NLCS

WASHINGTON — There are moments in baseball history that have forever seared into the hearts of the Washington Nationals and their fans.

A game the Cubs will treasure forever, and one that just adds to the torturous history of the Nats. Not as extended or tortured as the Cubs’ demons. But getting there.

Curses! Nationals playoff dreams are foiled again

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The Nationals took an early 4-1 lead on a pair of second-inning home runs from Daniel Murphy and Michael Taylor. The Cubs answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the third, putting Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez on the ropes much as Washington had with Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks. The two would combine for seven innings pitched and yield to 12 total relief pitchers.This is now the third time the Nationals have suffered a game five NL Division Series loss, while the Cubs are going into their third consecutive NLCS appearance at the Dodger Stadium on Sunday.Willson Contreras ripped a hard-hit ground ball back up the middle that Turner snagged on the dive, but by time he got upright and threw the ball to first, Contreras was safe. A more veteran catcher with a couple thousand innings on his legs might not have beaten that play out. The youthful Contreras made it with ease. A good play by Turner, it was. He just couldn’t get the ball to first base in time once he dove.

Exhausted and overjoyed, the Cubs jumped with glee on the field. “It was a bizarro world,” Cubs Manager Joe Maddon said.

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NLDS win anything but old-hat for Cub fans celebrating in Wrigleyville

Wade Davis earned the save after allowing one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief.

LEADING OFF: Yankees-Astros open ALCS, Cubs-Dodgers in NLCS

Scherzer got the first two outs of the inning, but then this happened:

Cubs outlast Nationals in heart-stopping playoff classic

The 2003 Cubs called and they want their meltdown back. The Cubs wouldn’t trail again, but give them credit for trying to. Remember the time Maddon brought in Carl Edwards Jr. for the fifth time this series and he walked his only batter in four pitches? 

Nationals lose yet another NLDS Game 5 at home

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Fans at Wrigley watch party endure gut-wrenching twists, turns as Cubs advance

“They won for me," Malcolme, of Englewood, said. "I was scared. Oh, didn’t know what to do. I was down on my knees praying. But they did it. It’s time to come back home!"

NLDS Game 5: Cubs-Nationals recap, social media reaction

Javier Baez and struck him out to end the inning, except the strike three ball got by  Matt Wieters and rolled to the backstop. Baez beat the throw to first base and when the throw went into shallow right field, he advanced to second. Russell scored from second on the play to give the Cubs a 6-4 lead.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Taylor went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and Murphy was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Nationals.
Juan Rudek, 64, was at the Park with his friends from Georgia. He plugged his ears and closed his eyes during a tense moment in the Nationals’ one-run 8th inning.

But let’s not forget how extraordinary the results have been during Hendricks’ time in the big leagues, all with the Cubs. His career regular-season ERA of 2.94 is second among active pitchers with at least 75 starts, behind only Kershaw’s.  He came into Game 5 with a 1.98 ERA in eight postseason starts.

(Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune) SEE MORE GALLERIES Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune The Cubs pose after clinching the NLDS over the Nationals.

Pitcher Gonzalez will start Nationals' Game 5

The Cubs took an early lead on an Anthony Rizzo RBI groundout in the first, but the Nationals roared back with four in the fourth, three of them coming on a Michael A. Taylor home run. Daniel Murphy also homered in the inning.The teams combined to use 38 players and the Cubs were down to their last two pitchers in the bullpen starting in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Cubs Add a Chapter to Nationals' Painful Postseason History
Cubs Add a Chapter to Nationals' Painful Postseason History

On he chugged, giving up a run in the eighth that brought the Nationals to within 9-8. With runners on first and second with two outs and Trea Turner at the plate, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras back-picked Nationals backup catcher Jose Lobaton at first base. Umpire Will Little ruled him safe. The Cubs challenged. Lobaton’s foot slipped off the base for a millisecond as first baseman Anthony Rizzo applied the tag. He was out. The inning and threat ended.

Gio Gonzalez nor Kyle Hendricks , the two starting pitchers, performed all that well. They were both out of the game by the fifth inning. The Nationals built an early 4-1 lead on home runs from Daniel Murphy and Michael Taylor , though the Cubs battled back to make it 4-3.

“To be competitive, to do what we do every year, it’s a pretty special organization,” he said, asked to assess the 2017 Washington Nationals. “I’m not going to say it’s a successful season. Every year you win the division, I don’t think it’s a bad season. I think it just shows how far we’ve come when you win the division, you win almost 100 games, and you have to ask that question.

“The only difference obviously is the fact that they [bleeping] won last year,” Strauss said. “A lot of people are just kind of waiting in the weeds until the next series.”“I wish they would have brought somebody else in,” said a dejected Dusty Baker after the loss.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.Chicago Cubs‘ offense finally started putting runs across the plate like they had for the majority of the second half this season. Unfortunately, so did their bullpen. But the Cubs scored just enough runs to outlast their shaky relief corps and the Washington Nationals, winning the deciding fifth game of the NLDS by a score of 9-8.

Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals 2017: Game 5 Prediction, Betting Odds

Thursday night’s game was do-or-die for the defending World Series champions.

Cubs' key to Game 5: Tackle Joe Maddon if he tries to remove Kyle Hendricks

The Nationals, the poor, poor Nationals. I don’t know what they need. A bottle of Scotch and a box of Kleenex? A diary?

“That was probably one of the weirdest innings,’’ Nats manager Dusty Baker said, “I’ve ever seen.’’

Washington led 4-1 after two innings, but couldn’t hold it. Gio Gonzalez, who started Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS for the Nationals, got the call on Thursday night.

2017 MLB Playoffs: Thursday prediction and discussion

NLDS Game 5: Cubs return to NLCS after wild victory over Nationals
NLDS Game 5: Cubs return to NLCS after wild victory over Nationals

Sorry, we could not verify that email address.Richard Knight, 31, originally from Aurora, drove up from Camden, Tenn., to visit a relative. He said he was unable to drive up for last year’s playoff run, so this was the next best thing.

Man of the moment: Russell. After a third season filled with poor performance, injury and off-field problems, Russell seized the moment in Game 5 with a pair of RBI doubles. The first, off Scherzer, changed the course of the game and stunned the Nationals, seemingly, into their fifth-inning spiral.

Taylor, Strasburg help Nats force Game 5

Cubs can laugh at their good fortune: On to the NLCS after absurd 9-8 win over Nationals
Cubs can laugh at their good fortune: On to the NLCS after absurd 9-8 win over Nationals

“Everyone in this room and everyone in their room had a million chances to win,” Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman said.Pablo Martinez Monsivais Chicago Cubs fans celebrate outside Wrigley Field on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, in Chicago, after the Cubs defeated the Washington Nationals 9-8 in Washington in Game 5 of a baseball National League Division Series to advance to the NLCS. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“In what inning,” he wrote — OK, fine, I wrote — “will Joe Maddon prematurely lift Kyle Hendricks tonight?”

Washington Nationals trailing 9-8 to the Chicago Cubs in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, catcher Willson Contreras fired a snap throw to Rizzo at first base, who slapped the tag on a sliding Jose Lobaton. First base umpire Will Little called Lobaton safe, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon challenged the call.

Homers by Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor — whose grand slam off Davis backed Stephen Strasburg’s 12-strikeout masterpiece in Washington’s 5-0 victory in Game 4 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday — gave the hosts a 4-1 lead in the second against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.We’ve sent you an email with instructions to create a new password. Your existing password has not been changed.Jayson Werth tried to make a sliding catch but whiffed. The lead was 9-6 when Washington got one run in the seventh on Harper’s sacrifice fly, and one in the eighth on Taylor’s RBI single.Catcher Willson Contreras picked off Jose Lobaton at first base to quash a Washington threat in the eighth and Davis fanned a swinging Bryce Harper for the final out.

View our 2017 Cubs player posters now >> Sports Baseball Chicago Cubs Cubs outlast Nationals 9-8 in decisive NLDS Game 5 to clinch series, advance to NLCS Photos from Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Nationals at Nationals Park on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017.

Veteran left-hander Jon Lester seems right at home in relief role for Cubs

Addison Russell’s two-run double. After an intentional walk to Jason Heyward, the Nationals compounded their troubles. Catcher Matt Wieters committed a passed ball on a third strike to Javier Baez and a throwing error that allowed Russell to score the inning’s third run and Baez to advance to second.

play1:21Harper after loss: ‘That’s some fun baseball right there’Bryce Harper says after Game 5 that he believes Jose Lobaton was out at first in the eighth inning and addresses Max Scherzer’s performance.

The killer: A two-run double by Addison Russell, who ambushed a first-pitch changeup from Scherzer for a ringing shot down the third base line for a 5-4 Cubs lead. It scored Willson Contreras and Ben Zobrist, who both looked buried in two-strike holes against the powerful Scherzer, whose fastball on two days’ rest touched 98 mph.Editor’s PicksCubs survive strangest elimination game ever playedA bizarre four-run fifth inning and an overturned call on a pickoff that thwarted a Nats rally in the eighth lifted Chicago to its third straight NLCS.Instead of looking for fault with these 2017 Cubs, we fans should be enjoying the ride. We are living in the golden age of Cub fandom. Before the current Cubs came around, our glory team was the 1969 Cubs squad that finished eight games out of first.But the Cubs scratched and clawed their way to a run behind, and then, after two quick outs, the Cubs batted around against Max Scherzer, the Nationals’ most dominant pitcher. Addison Russell hit two clutch doubles and drove in 4 runs, and the Cubs took an 8-4 lead. The Cubs used an assortment of pitchers, including closer Wade Davis starting his work in the 7th inning. With the tying run at second base and the lead run at first, Cubs’ Catcher Willson Contreras picked off the runner at first base to end the 8th inning on a call that the umpires originally missed. Davis struck out Nationals star Bryce Harper swinging on a 3-2 pitch for the final out of the 9th inning for an astonishing 9-8 victory. Gallery David Strauss and his family own Sluggers Sports Bar, 3540 N. Clark, where Strauss says the same number of fans are showing up as last year’s NLDS against the San Francisco Giants.

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