NLDS Game 4 to Be Played Wednesday — Cubs-Nationals Postponed
Oct 11 2017 by Dustin Murphy
In the eighth, Anthony Rizzo drove in a run to push the Cubs ahead 2-1.
Now, Baker can presumably send reigning NL Cy Young Award victor Max Scherzer to the mound for Monday's Game 3 at Wrigley Field. Not only were the Cubs getting hits, they weren't putting much contact on the ball, period. Arrieta, who is eligible for free agency after the season, could be making his last start in a Cubs uniform.
"I was searching for the command during the game, but as the game went on I felt better with it", Scherzer said. I think it's a huge opportunity, too. There's no such thing as a routine flyball. And then when he went to pick it up, he kicked it around. Cue the Benny Hill music. Murphy got to third, Schwarber got two errors, and Quintana got the hook. Ryan Zimmerman recorded an RBI double for the Nationals.
Those traits have persisted in their victories in games the Nationals'Stephen Strasburg and Scherzer started. It also ended Scherzer's night. He then took third base on a wild pitch, belly flopping to the bag without a throw. "We just hung in there".
The Cubs won Game 1, the Nats Game 2 and the Cubs took Game 3.
The 31-year-old Arrieta was a key factor in Chicago's turnaround in the last part of the season, going 6-3 with a 2.28 ERA in his final 12 outings. Anthony Rizzo called him "the best pitcher I've seen, probably", and with good reason.
"Obviously, this franchise over the past five years has changed a lot", Zimmerman said.
Neither Roark or Arrieta finished the regular season in grand fashion, but overall the two pitchers had very strong second halves. I already talked to (pitching coach Chris Bosio). I'm a right-handed hitter. Scherzer threw 98 on Monday and allowed just one hit. Maybe it didn't happen because the suddenly offense-starved Nationals, who are hitting a sickly.121 as a team over the first three games of the series, have forgotten how to score runs.
The Nationals trailed the Cubs 3-1 in the top of the eighth inning before Harper came up to bat. La Stella worked a walk to start the bottom of the eighth. With two outs and the game in the balance, again Baker made a questionable move.
So the Cubs have a chance to wrap up this series on Tuesday.
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Cubs are a -150 favorite to win on the moneyline.
Game 4 is Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
"He was dominating us, there's no two ways about it", Rizzo said. "But we're focused on the game itself, not the celebration".
He also will oppose Max Scherzer who is looking to win his third-career Cy Young award after posting a 2.51 ERA, 0.902 WHIP and 268 strikeouts in 2017. Washington 2B Daniel Murphy (1-for-4) has reached base in 21 games in row in the postseason. He looked like he had been on the big stage before, going 5.2 innings while giving up just two hits, striking out seven and not allowing an earned run.
"Man, he blasted that ball a ton", Baker said. The Cubs have scored three or less runs in four of their last six games.
What matters is who is up 2-1, and that's the Cubs.
Cubs left field Ben Zobrist drifted back to the warning track, seemingly ready to catch the ball. "We still have to execute and focus". The negatives are greater than the positives, however; nearly nobody else is hitting (Trea Turner is 0-for-12 with five strikeouts, Matt Wieters is 0-for-8, Daniel Murphy is 1-for-11, Jayson Werth is 1-for-10), the fielding mistakes have come at crucial junctures, the bullpen has been shaky, and, of course, the Cubs are pretty good at baseball.