clear
Friday December 15th, 2017 6:37PM

Cubs come back on Scherzer, top Nationals 9-8 in NLDS Game 5

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Chicago Cubs win whenever they need to, with whatever it takes, even a seven-out save by Wade Davis to preserve a shrinking lead and a "Did that really happen?" four-run inning against Washington's Max Scherzer in a thriller of a Game 5.

That wild, bat-around fifth inning Thursday night for Chicago included Addison Russell's go-ahead, two-run double, a bases-loaded hit by pitch, and a disputed dropped third strike followed by a throwing error, helping the defending World Series champion Cubs come back — and then hold on — to edge the Nationals 9-8.

And for the third year in a row, Chicago reached the NL Championship Series.

"Give the boys credit," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "That's one of the most incredible victories I've ever been part of. I know a lot of people are probably saying the same thing, but under the circumstances, in the other team's ballpark, after a tough loss at home, to come back and do that, give our guys all the credit in the world."

Russell drove in four runs and Davis, Chicago's seventh pitcher, turned in his longest appearance since 2012. The Cubs trailed 4-1, then led 8-4 and 9-6, in a game that lasted more than 4½ hours and ended after midnight on Friday.

"It was bizarro world, there's no question about it," Maddon said. "But it happens. It happens this time of the year."

Catcher Willson Contreras picked off Jose Lobaton at first base to quash a Washington threat in the eighth and Davis fanned a swinging Bryce Harper for the final out.

"It was a series of bad events," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said.

Chicago, which surpassed its total of eight runs in the first four games of the NL Division Series, advanced to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will start ace Clayton Kershaw at home in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night.

For Maddon and the Cubs, this was their fourth consecutive victory in a win-or-be-eliminated postseason game. That includes three straight to end the 2016 World Series, when Chicago trailed the Cleveland Indians 3-1 before forcing a Game 7 won by the Cubs in 10 innings.

The Nationals, meanwhile, went one-and-done yet again: This is the fourth time in the past six years that the club won the NL East and immediately lost its opening playoff series. And this is the third time in that span that Washington bowed out with a Game 5 NLDS loss at home; that also happened in 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals and last year against the Dodgers.

This one was played exactly five years to the day after the decider against the Cardinals, which the Nationals lost 9-7 in Washington. Just like that night, the Nationals started Gio Gonzalez. Just like that night, Washington raced out to an early lead (6-0 back then). And just like that night, Gonzalez had control problems and started giving back some of the edge.

"It really hurts, you know, to lose like that, especially after what we went through all year long, and that was tough," Baker said.

Homers by Daniel Murphy and Michael A. Taylor — whose grand slam off Davis backed Stephen Strasburg's 12-strikeout masterpiece in Washington's 5-0 victory in Game 4 at Wrigley Field on Wednesday — gave the hosts a 4-1 lead in the second against Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks.

But Gonzalez gave back two of those runs, so it was 4-3 as two-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer entered for the fifth. He started Game 3 of this series, pushed back because of an injured right hamstring, and hadn't come out of the bullpen since 2013 with the Detroit Tigers.

By the time Scherzer's one inning was over, the Cubs had taken a 7-4 lead. They scored two earned runs and two unearned runs, on the strength of three hits, one hit by pitch, one intentional walk, a catcher's interference, and one very odd play.

What could have been a potentially inning-ending strikeout turned into a run, as Javier Baez swung and missed, but the ball went under catcher Matt Wieters' glove and through his legs. When Wieters collected the ball, he threw it into right field for an error, then appeared to argue that the play should have been ruled over because Baez's follow-through carried the bat into the catcher's mask.

"I mean, we didn't play a very good game," Baker said. "We still battled till the end, and you know, we had far too many walks and they end up scoring in a hot mess. That was probably one of the weirdest innings I've ever seen with the third strike and then Baez hits Wieters on the backswing."

Russell made it 8-4 in the sixth on an RBI double when left fielder Jayson Werth tried to make a sliding catch but whiffed. The lead was 9-6 when Washington got one run in the seventh on Harper's sacrifice fly, and one in the eighth on Taylor's RBI single.

But the Nationals wasted some opportunities. In the eighth, with two on and no outs, pinch-hitter Adam Lind hit into a double play. Later in that inning, again with two men aboard, Lobaton was nailed by Contreras' snap throw for the third out — Lobaton was originally ruled safe, a call that was overturned on replay.

In the seventh, Ryan Zimmerman was up as the go-ahead run with two men on, but Davis struck him out. That was part of an 0 for 4, three-K night for the first baseman who had a resurgent season, leading the Nationals with 36 homers and 108 RBIs.

That season is over for him and his team. The Cubs, though, will play on.

___

Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Cubs come back on Scherzer, top Nationals 9-8 in NLDS Game 5
Addison Russell drove in four runs, Wade Davis earned a seven-out save, and the Chicago Cubs reached their third NL Championship Series in a row by edging the Washington Nationals 9-8 in a thriller of a Game 5.
12:57AM ( 7 minutes ago )
Cubs come back on Scherzer, Nationals win 9-8 in NLDS Game 5
Addison Russell drove in four runs, Wade Davis earned a seven-out save, and the Chicago Cubs reached their third NL Championship Series in a row by edging the Washington Nationals 9-8 in a thriller of a Game 5.
12:47AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Bill, Chelsea Clinton bringing student conference to Boston
Hundreds of college students from across the U.S. will be coming to Boston for a leadership conference created by former President Bill Clinton
12:32AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
LEADING OFF: Keuchel, Astros face Yankees in ALCS opener
LEADING OFF: Keuchel, Astros face Yankees in ALCS opener
9:24PM ( 3 hours ago )
Keuchel looks to continue success against Yankees in ALCS
Houston's Dallas Keuchel has been great in his career against the New York Yankees and the lefty looks to continue that run on Friday in Game 1 ALCS
9:09PM ( 3 hours ago )
10 Things to Know for Friday
Among 10 Things to Know: AP obtains recording of sounds tied to attacks on diplomatic staff in Havana; shootout in Pakistan ends with freedom for captives; FDA panel endorses promising gene therapy.
8:16PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Tanaka to start Game 1 of ALCS for Yankees against Astros
Masahiro Tanaka will start in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series for the New York Yankees against Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros on Friday night
6:13PM ( 6 hours ago )
Nats name LHP Gonzalez starter for Game 5 of NLDS vs. Cubs
Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will start Game 5 for the Washington Nationals in their NL Division Series against the Chicago Cubs
5:22PM ( 7 hours ago )
Classic fall: Indians' Series hopes dashed by early exit
Over in October: Indians stunned by early exit from postseason
2:09PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Trump to halt subsidies to health insurers
President Donald Trump plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that he has been trying to unravel for months
11:24PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Democrats slam new Trump health policy
President Donald Trump plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that he has been trying to unravel for months
11:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
US, Israel to exit UNESCO over its alleged anti-Israel bias
The United States says it's leaving the U.N.'s educational, scientific and cultural agency because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and a need for "fundamental reform" in the agency, and Israel said it would follow suit
11:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Couple described as adventure-seekers are free from captors
The wife and husband who were held hostage for five years in Afghanistan are being described as adventure-seekers who wanted to see areas of the world infrequently traveled by Westerners
11:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Trump to halt subsidies to health insurers
President Donald Trump plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that he has been trying to unravel for months
11:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
Grim search for victims as wildfires grow to size of NYC
Teams begin grim search for more dead as California wildfires grow to size of NYC
9:46PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
NLDS Game 4 being delayed by threat of inclement weather
The start of Game 4 of the NL Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs is being delayed by a band of showers near Wrigley Field
5:45PM ( 2 days ago )
Stanley Cup champion Penguins visit Trump at White House
Stanley Cup champion Penguins visit Trump at White House
3:54PM ( 2 days ago )
Resilient Dodgers return to dominant form, and to the NLCS
The Dodgers are headed back to the NL Championship Series with four days to rest after sweeping Arizona
2:33PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Cubs come back on Scherzer, Nationals win 9-8 in NLDS Game 5
Addison Russell drove in four runs, Wade Davis earned a seven-out save, and the Chicago Cubs reached their third NL Championship Series in a row by edging the Washington Nationals 9-8 in a thriller of a Game 5.
12:47AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Bill, Chelsea Clinton bringing student conference to Boston
Hundreds of college students from across the U.S. will be coming to Boston for a leadership conference created by former President Bill Clinton
12:32AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Carson Wentz throws 3 TD passes, Eagles beat Panthers 28-23
Carson Wentz threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Carolina Panthers 28-23 to improve to an NFC-best 5-1
12:30AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Trump speech to vilify Iran over nuke deal, non-nuke issues
President Donald Trump plans to deliver a broad and harsh critique of Iranian behavior on Friday in a speech declaring that the landmark Iran nuclear deal is not in America's national security interests
12:20AM ( 43 minutes ago )
Sen. Collins of Maine to announce governor's race decision
Republican Sen. Susan Collins is set to announce whether she will stay in the U.S. Senate or run for governor of her home state of Maine
12:13AM ( 51 minutes ago )