With their second ace Max Scherzer throwing off the mound, the Nationals look to go up 2-1 in the series while
In what was projected to be a pitcher’s duel a second game in a row, the Washington Nationals went off in the bottom of the eighth putting up five runs to comeback from 1-3 up to 6-3. Those five runs were produced by two home runs. Bryce Harper with a two run home run and Ryan Zimmerman with a three run blast.
Jon Lester pitched a pretty good game for the Cubs. He went six innings, giving up only two hits. Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo shot by Anthony Rendon. Lester struck out two while walking two. He posted a 1.50 ERA on the day. Carl Edwards Jr. ended up with the blown save and loss after giving up Bryce Harper’s two run homerun in the eighth.
Gio Gonzalez gave up three runs over five innings. He struck out six, walked two but gave up two home runs to Wilson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo. The bullpen behind Gonzalez was lights out only giving up three hits. The bullpen for the Nats only had two strikeouts, which is irrelevant as the Cubs couldn’t get any hits strung together, getting no more than one in an inning.
With the series tied 1-1, the Cubs and Nats move on to Wrigley Field in Chicago Monday the 9th, at 4:00pm EST where ace Max Scherzer returns from a tweaked hamstring. In six career starts against the Cubs, he has posted a 2.92 ERA. In the regular season, Scherzer dominated going 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 268 strikeouts. Let’s not forget that Max Scherzer is also the reigning NL Cy Young award winner.
Walking up on the mound opposite of Scherzer is Jose Quintana. A six-year lefty veteran who was acquired for pressure starts as this one. This will be his postseason debut as they enter Chicago. On the season, Quintana went 11-11 with a 4.15 ERA, striking out 207 batters. Since starting for the Cubs in the middle of July, he is 7-3 with a 3.74 ERA.
My prediction is that the Nationals bats stay consistent while Max Scherzer shuts down the Cubbies. Quintana will do well keeping the Cubs close while the Nationals score early. The Cubs will score a couple of runs in the eighth, but the Nationals will have put up more after Quintana is pulled. Nationals win 5-2 going up 2 games to 1.