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Friday, 13 October 2017 02:42

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

Written by  USA Today

WASHINGTON — Breaking down Game 5 of the NL Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park:

Cubs 9, Nationals 8: Cubs wins the series, 3-2.

***

State of the playoffs: The Cubs advance to the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, beginning Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

Clayton Kershaw will start for the Dodgers, possibly opposed by John Lackey.

***

The game: Got a minute?

In an elimination game with knee-buckling twists separated by mere minutes, the Cubs capitalized on the most ignominious inning in Nationals history: A four-run fifth inning that saw reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer record the first two outs without incident, only to see the frame devolve into a barrage of two-strike hits and sheer ineptitude from the Nationals.

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.

But Contreras managed an infield single to deep short and the pinch hitter Zobrist doubled to left, setting the stage for Russell’s heroics.

Read more at USA Today

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