Nationals Beat Cubs, Force Game 5 in Washington

on Oct11

11 October 2017 | 5:12 pm

The Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the NLDS, forcing a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night. 

Stephen Strasburg, who wasn’t even scheduled to start until Wednesday morning, struck out 12 batters and allowed zero runs as he helped the Nationals force a Game 5 in the series. 

On a rainy, dreary day, Jake Arrieta had a pair of walks in the first two innings, but he stranded both runners, including with a strikeout to Michael Taylor in the second frame. 

The Cubs got their first hit of the day when Ben Zobrist smashed a double into the right field corner in the bottom of the second, but he was stranded as Addison Russell flew out to the warning track and Javier Baez tapped out weakly to the pitcher’s mound to end the frame.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the scoreless tie didn’t last for long. After Trea Turner hit a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Ryan Zimmerman drove him in as Russell committed an error at shortstop, giving the Nationals a 1-0 lead in the third inning. 

Arrieta loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but was able to escape as he struck out Jayson Werth to end the inning and squelch the threat. 

In the fifth inning, the Cubs brought Jon Lester into the game, and he cruised through the frame with ease. Strasburg continue to be effective for the Nationals however, inducing a double play ball from Javier Baez to keep the Cubs at bay. 

That score stayed in place though the sixth inning, as Lester cruised and Strasburg got Contreras to pop out with Rizzo on first base to end his sixth shutout inning. 

Lester lasted all the way to the top of the eighth inning, when he gave up a bloop single to Daniel Murphy with two outs. The inning snowballed from there, as Michael Taylor hit a grand slam after Carl Edwards loaded the bases to give the Nationals a 5-0 lead. 

The Cubs got two runners on in the eighth inning, but Bryant struck out for the fourth time in the game and Rizzo grounded out to second after a lengthy at-bat to keep the deficit at five runs. 

The two teams will battle one final time at Nationals Park on Thursday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:08 p.m. in Washington. 

Published at 7:18 AM CDT on Oct 11, 2017 | Updated 58 minutes ago

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