Cubs, Nationals Battling in Game 1 of NLDS

Frederick Owens
October 9, 2017

The situation was hardly ideal. "You get frustrated", Zimmerman acknowledged.

"Bryant said that while you don't want to see a tragedy like this happen in your hometown, 'it's been wonderful to see the community and people come out and help". You can see his delivery, how well he repeated it, pitch after pitch after pitch. "It's one thing you really can't take for granted", Strasburg said, "and you've got to make the most of every opportunity you get".

The Nationals, the latest heirs to that grand tradition, did nothing to shed that baggage in Friday's 3-0 loss to the Cubs in the opening game of the National League Division Series. But the NL East champions broke out with five runs and four hits, thanks to two big swings from 2015 NL MVP Harper - only recently back from a left knee injury that sidelined him for 42 games - and longtime face of the franchise Zimmerman.

"A lot of it depends on our evaluation of Scherzer", Baker said.

Now, Baker can presumably send reigning NL Cy Young Award victor Max Scherzer to the mound for Monday's Game 3 at Wrigley Field.

Scalise wore a red Nationals jersey Friday night with his name and No. 3 on the back. "We were just having fun and enjoying our team". "Whatever we can to get people to support, we're ready to do".

In Game 1, Harper was one of the only Nationals who did hit the ball, lining a first-inning single to right field that accounted for 50 percent of his team's base knocks. Adam Lind led off with a pinch-hit single and was replaced by pinch-runner Victor Robles, who scored when Harper launched a shot into the right-field stands.

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The Nationals took care of business in the top of the 9th, shutting the door on the Cubs and sending the series to Chicago tied at one game a piece. In their Game 2 victory Washington got four shutout innings from their relievers and didn't even have to use Kintzler. In the ninth inning, Ryan Zimmerman almost reached base after a dropped third strike but was hit by the ball thrown by Willson Contreras. Harper's teammates in the dugout reacted immediately, screaming and raising fists as the ball tore through the night air.

"That was the pitch I wanted to throw the last time", Edwards said. "He made a pitch, and the guy didn't miss it". Sometimes that happens. Bryce is good. Up stepped Harper. He buried a curve in the dirt. Quintana has never pitched in the postseason in his career. Zimmerman (2-for-4) then lofted a three-run homer just over the fence in left to give Washington a 6-3 lead.

"It's unbelievable what he does and how he does it", Gonzalez continued. "He's a story, a movie, everything all in one". His 2017 season has been one of renaissance as a whole, but I suspect he will remember the home run he hit tonight more than most of the others he has hit this season.

At what point did Zimmerman realize the ball was gone?

"I asked him to teach me how to do it", Contreras joked.

"Maybe I got a little lucky". Two outs later, he came home when Rizzo doubled. But when Edwards hung a 3-1 curveball, the muscle memory returned. This season, he topped the NL in strikeouts with 268 and finished second with a 2.51 ERA, while leading the Nationals in wins at 16-6.

Meanwhile, the opposite is the key for the Nationals offense.

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