After losing Game 4 at home, the defending World Series champions rallied on Thursday night and eliminated the Washington Nationals in a winner take all Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
With a 9-8 victory over the Nationals, the Cubs head to the National League Championship Series to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Game 5 Recap
The 4 hour and 37-minute Game 5 was loaded with wild plays and unexpected moments from both teams. However, the Cubs proved that they were not going to go down without a fight, which lead to their victory in Thursday night’s game.
The Cubbies were the first to get on the scoreboard on an Anthony Rizzo ground out, which drove in Jon Jay. With the Cubs up 1-0, the Nationals rose to the challenge to put some numbers up too. In the bottom of the 2nd, Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor helped get the Nationals on the scoreboard.
Murphy homered and shortly after, Taylor hit a three-run homer to put the Nats up 4-1. In the top of the 3rd, the Cubs slowly crept back to try and take the lead.
After an Addison Russell ground out, which drove in Kris Bryant and pushed baserunners Willson Contreras and Albert Almora to 3rd and 2nd, Gio Gonzalez unleashed a wild pitch with two outs, allowing Contreras to score, which turned this into a one-run game.
With the Nats now only leading by one, and ace pitcher Max Scherzer taking the mound, the top of the 5th would be the last time in this game that the Nationals held the lead.
The Nutty Inning
Russell got his second and third RBI’s of the night with a go-ahead double, which drove in both Contreras and Ben Zobrist. However, the runs didn’t stop there for the Cubs.
By the end of the nutty 5th, they earn two more runs to go up 7-4 without another hit. In the bottom of the 5th, the Cubs scored on a strikeout by Javier Báez, passed ball and throwing error by Nationals’ catcher Matt Wieters. Following this, pinch-hitter Tommy La Stella reached base on a catcher’s interference by Wieters, which then loaded the bases.
With the bases loaded, Jay approached the plate. However, he was hit by a pitch, which allowed Heyward to score.
Cubs Coming in Hot
Back again for more, and with the lucky bat of the night, Russell smashed another double in the top of the 6th earning his fourth RBI of the night as he drove in Zobrist. The Cubs were double the Nats with a score of 8-4.
In the bottom of the 6th though, the Nationals started to put it into gear and earn some runs themselves. Jayson Werth is walked with two outs. Then a pitching change occurs and the Cubs send Mike Montgomery to the mound. Bryce Harper is at bat and hits a double to right field, which sends Werth to 3rd.
Then during a walk to Ryan Zimmerman, Montgomery threw a wild pitch, which allowed Werth to score and moved Harper to 3rd. Following all of this, Murphy doubled and drove in Harper making it 8-6.
The 7th inning saw some action from both teams too. In the top, Bryant grounded into a force out, which allowed Kyle Schwarber to score making it 9-6. And in the bottom, Harper got out on a sacrifice fly, allowing Taylor to score making it 9-7.
However, the final score of 9-8 was reached in the bottom of the 8th. The Nationals’ center fielder Taylor singled on a ground ball, which drove in Murphy. Through the bottom of the 9th, the score held and the Cubs defeated the Nationals.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 13, 2017
The Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon commented on the incredible victory his team accomplished on Thursday night.
Pitchers for Game 5
The starting pitchers for Game 5 were Kyle Hendricks (3.27 ERA) for the Cubs and Gonzalez (6.75 ERA) for the Nationals. Hendricks went four innings and gave up four runs, while Gonzalez went three innings and gave
up three runs.
Each team used seven pitchers in this game, but the pitcher that came out on top was Brian Duensing for the Cubs earning the W.
However, the pitcher that dominated the last part of the game was Cubs’, Wade Davis, as he worked the last 2.1 innings for a rare 7 out save. He gave up one run but finished strong striking out both Werth and Harper to end this wild game.
The Cubs will travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers, and Clayton Kershaw’s arm, in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series. The game is set for Saturday, October 14, at 8 p.m. ET.