The Washington Nationals are not done yet.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Nationals defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-0 at Wrigley Field in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg had a spectacular outing with his team’s season on the line. Thanks to Strasburg, the series will now head back to Washington for Game 5.
Originally, Strasburg was not even supposed to start Game 4. Nationals manager Dusty Baker was going to send Tanner Roark out to the mound on Tuesday afternoon, the day Game 4 was supposed to take place. However, the game got rained out and was postponed until Wednesday. Strasburg was ruled out on Tuesday because of flu-like symptoms. Because the game got pushed until Wednesday though, he decided he was ready to take the hill for the Nationals.
Still sick, Strasburg battled through the less than desirable conditions of the Windy City and pitched a great game. He threw seven shutout innings, surrendering just three hits and two walks while striking out 12 batters. The Cubs hitters could not figure out Strasburg, as he put forth a dominating performance.
The Nationals scored an early run thanks to a two-out error by Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. This was all they were able to muster until the top of the eighth inning, when Michael Taylor hit a grand slam off of Carl Edwards Jr. This big home run virtually ended the Cubs chances of making a comeback in the game. The Nationals bullpen pitched two scoreless innings and finished off the game.
With the 5-0 victory, the Nationals will still have the opportunity to advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time ever. They have lost in the NLDS three previous times, in 2012, 2014 and 2016. The Cubs will try and advance to the NLCS for the third consecutive year.
Game 5 between the Cubs and Nationals will take place on Thursday at 8:08 PM ET. Kyle Hendricks will be on the mound for the Cubs, while the Nationals have yet to announce their starter. In all likelihood, either Roark or Gio Gonzalez will go for Washington.