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frozenmail.net October 21, 2017


Hendricks outduels Strasburg, Cubs beat Nats

07 October 2017, 02:09 | Randolph Howard

Hendricks, Cubs shut out Nationals in Game 1

A Pitcher's Duel in DC Ended With the Cubs Stealing Game 1 From the Nationals

Remember that stretch in the postseason a year ago when Baez was the Cubs' best hitter? Will the Cubs (92-70) be able to hang on against the Nats (97-65) and make it to the National League Championship Series?

I certainly have fond memories of each Cubs playoff series past year, after backing them every step of the way. He's actually hitting a lot - I don't know how accurate their gun is, I don't know it's a little bit hot or not; sometimes I wonder, but if the gun is accurate, he hit as high as 91. "Experience, yeah, is a great thing to have".

"We're finally getting the players we need", Wenger said.

The Cubs will face Gio Gonzalez in Game 2 tomorrow.

Chicago is 8-1 in Lester's last 9 starts against the NL East and 16-5 in their last 21 games overall while the under is 7-2 in their last 9 road games.

Gonzalez has a good record and ERA this season, but he went more than five innings just once in his last five starts of the season, gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings in his final appearance and had an ERA of 5.47 in those outings.

The first NLDS game this year is a contest between the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals. Washington outfielder Jayson Werth was on that Phillies team.

Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo caught the third out in the second inning against the Nationals but threw to second base thinking it was only two outs. " ... But I don't know, other than trying not to lose again, for me you realize you just got to get there". Zack Godley ran into trouble in the fourth inning, allowing three runs on a pair of run-scoring singles by Corey Seager and Justin Turner and a productive out from Yasiel Puig. "The last - I mean, the last 2 or 3 starts", said Maddon when asked about this performance compared to some of the others for the Cy Young finalist from a year ago.

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Hendricks meanwhile was excellent through seven innings of work, giving up just two hits, three walks and no runs while striking out six batters. Scherzer and Johnson both led the league in strikeouts, but in a sign of how the game has changed, they finished more than 100 apart. Chapman gave up the game-tying home run to Rajai Davis in Game 7 of the World Series, the one that had Cubs fans curled up in the fetal position for a brief moment.

Strasburg and Hendricks hung up zeroes through five innings with Strasburg not allowing a hit.

Washington manager Dusty Baker said the club wanted to be cautious with Scherzer, who won the National League Cy Young Award previous year. "We'll be better tomorrow".

"I think he was really in a rhythm", Bryant said. Both Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon have problems with change-ups-Turner had a.021 ISO and whiffed at 40 percent of them this year, while Rendon batted.175-which hopefully means the table-setter and perhaps their most risky hitter with Harper hurt are up against it today.

Also pervasive was the Nationals' inability to produce hits. "We got on base and got him out of his rhythm".

"He's the same guy", Anthony Rizzo said.

Hendricks went about things differently - his best fastball is about 10 miles per hour slower than Strasburg's - but was every bit as good.

While the Cubs had to - and did - finish strong, going an NL-best 49-25 after the All-Star break to overtake the Milwaukee Brewers and win the NL Central, the Nationals ran away from a mediocre division they clinched almost a month ago and won by 20 games.



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