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Cubs Outlast Nationals, 9-8: 2017 NLDS Recap

Divisional Round - Chicago Cubs v Washington Nationals - Game Five
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Addison Russell drove in four runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals, 9-8, to win the decisive Game 5 of the 2017 National League Division Series in D.C. on Thursday night.

With the narrow victory, the defending World Series champion-Cubs advanced to play the Dodgers in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series starting in Los Angeles on Saturday.

N.L. East champion Washington had a chance to tie the see-saw game in the ninth inning against tiring Chicago closer Wade Davis, but he retired Trea Turner, Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper in order to end the series.

Walks to Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon had Davis in trouble an inning earlier, but a double-play ball off the bat of Adam Lind resulted in two quick outs. Michael Taylor followed Lind with an RBI single to score Murphy, and Jose Lobaton’s subsequent single put Taylor in scoring position with the tying run.

However, Lobaton was picked off first base by catcher Willson Contreras on a call that was overturned by replay review, ending the Nats best threat to tie the game.

Thursday’s game was an epic battle that saw 14 pitchers used, 17 runs scored and another disappointing end to the season in D.C.

After Chicago took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, the Nationals stormed back with a four-run second, scoring on a solo homer by Murphy and a three-run shot by Taylor.

The Cubs rallied for two runs on Washington starter Gio Gonzalez in the third inning and then scored four runs in the top of the fifth when Nats manager Dusty Baker went to normally dominant starter Max Scherzer in a relief role.

Chicago’s 7-4 lead was far from safe, however.

Russell’s double off Brandon Kintzler scored Ben Zobrist to tack on a run in the top of the sixth, but Washington rallied for two runs in the bottom of the inning to make it 8-6.

Kris Bryant plated a run for the Cubs in the top of the seventh off Ryan Madson, the Nationals’ sixth pitcher, while Harper answered for Washington with a one-out, bases-loaded sacrifice fly off José Quintana in the bottom of the frame.

Chicago manager Joe Maddon then went to Davis, who got Ryan Zimmerman swinging to end the threat. The closer’s seven-out save kept the Cubs’ dreams of repeating as champions alive.

2017 NLDS Recap: Cubs beat Nationals, 3-2

Game 1: Chicago 3, Washington 0
Game 2: Washington 6, Chicago 3
Game 3: Chicago 2, Washington 1
Game 4: Washington 5, Chicago 0
Game 5: Chicago 9, Washington 8

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