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December 16, 2017

Sports

Levine: Cubs Stay Even-Keeled After Bullpen Meltdown Changes Complexion Of Series

Levine: Cubs Stay Even-Keeled After Bullpen Meltdown Changes Complexion Of Series”

No, Washington didn't cash in on its one big opportunity in Game 2 against Cubs starter Jon Lester as Lester struck out Trea Turner with the bases loaded and two outs n the fifth with the Nationals trailing 3-1.

He locked them down, and Game 3 of the series, set to continue at Wrigley Field on Monday, took on even more meaning.

"It just didn't come off the same", Edwards said. "Maybe I got a little lucky, who knows?". Harper had been 1-of-7 in the series before the at-bat. It's nearly happened before but something usually seems to happen, especially with the player that Hendricks most resembles in his style and demeanor: Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

If anyone thought the Cubs were catching a break by facing Strasburg, they needed to think again.

Edwards then walked Anthony Rendon and the Cubs brought in Mike Montgomery, who gave up a single to Daniel Murphy with one out. And if the series goes the distance, he'll have Stephen Strasburg (who was almost unhittable Friday night) ready Thursday back here in D.C.

Rizzo's blast was unusual because he hit a Gonzalez curveball, a hard pitch to drive over a fence, and because he became only the second left-handed hitter this year - along with Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves - to hit a homer off Gonzalez.

For the first 16 innings of the NLDS, the Nationals were searching for offense and general signs of life against the Cubs. The Cubs have scored three or less runs in four of their last six games. When you hang it, it gets banged. "Just kind of a larger-than-life 12-year-old out there that was just so good at baseball, you knew he was bound for where he's at now". He rarely left any pitches out over the heart of the plate, and he was able to effectively change both speeds and locations to keep the Nationals from locking on to him. He mixed in changeups, sinkers and even his four-seam fastball.

Chris Owings (finger) not on Diamondbacks' roster for NL Wild Card Game
They scored five of their runs on home runs, by Paul Goldschmidt and Daniel Descalso , five on triples and one on a bunt single. YOUNG ROCKY: The Rockies counter with the 25-year-old Gray (10-4, 3.67), who said " it's very cool " to go against Greinke.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks.

In the top of the sixth, the Cubs had yet to scratch out a hit against Stephen Strasburg, who looked all the phenom he was dubbed to be when he entered the league at the beginning of the decade.

"He's such a technician mechanically".

With that dinger, Rizzo tied the Cubs' franchise record of all time postseason home runs. "It's not easy to do in this game". In other words, just because Strasburg's best wasn't good enough in Game 1, that doesn't mean the Nats' best isn't yet to come. Then, Chicago was filled with injuries, playing just above.500 baseball and chasing the Milwaukee Brewers for a division lead. This, as they were undoubtedly staring a 2-0 series advantage square in the face. It was the lowpoint of their season. In six innings of work, he allowed only two hits and one run. "The more at-bats I get, the more comfortable I get", he said before Game 2, adding, "If you don't get it done your first or second at-bat, the third or fourth at-bat could be huge".

"With this group, with this experience, nothing's really going to faze us". A few batters later, Ryan Zimmerman cleared the left field fence by a few inches to give the Nats a 6-3 lead.

The playoffs, though, are different. They lost to the Giants in the division series that year, just as they'd lost to the Cardinals two years earlier, just as they'd lose to the Dodgers two years later.



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