|CHICAGO CUBS ( HENDRICKS )|
WASHINGTON ( GONZALEZ )
|NL Division Series - Best of 5 - Game 5 - Series tied at 2-2|
|vs Left-handed Starters||21-15||+1.3||17-15||5.4||0.272||0.351||0.442||0.793||4.1||0.245||0.309||0.391||0.700|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+0.5||2-4||3.3||0.193||0.271||0.309||0.580||2.7||0.187||0.256||0.280||0.536|
|vs Right-handed Starters||76-51||+3.6||56-64||5.1||0.264||0.332||0.431||0.763||4.2||0.240||0.302||0.393||0.696|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-3.9||1-5||3.9||0.210||0.290||0.349||0.640||3.4||0.193||0.285||0.274||0.558|
|9/28/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||@ ST LOUIS||LYNN(R)||2-1||W||135||8 ov||U||7||9||0||6||7||1|
|10/6/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||@ WASHINGTON||STRASBURG(R)||3-0||W||140||7 ov||U||5||5||1||2||6||1|
|10/7/2017||LESTER(L)||@ WASHINGTON||GONZALEZ(L)||3-6||L||105||9 ev||P||6||3||0||6||4||0|
|10/12/2017||HENDRICKS(R)||@ WASHINGTON||GONZALEZ(L)|| |
|10/6/2017||STRASBURG(R)||CHICAGO CUBS||HENDRICKS(R)||0-3||L||-150||7 ov||U||2||6||1||5||5||1|
|10/7/2017||GONZALEZ(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||LESTER(L)||6-3||W||-115||9 ev||P||6||4||0||6||3||0|
|10/9/2017||SCHERZER(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||QUINTANA(L)||1-2||L||-110||7.5 ev||U||3||5||1||4||4||4|
|10/11/2017||STRASBURG(R)||@ CHICAGO CUBS||ARRIETA(R)||5-0||W||-105||7 un||U||5||10||1||3||6||2|
|10/12/2017||GONZALEZ(L)||CHICAGO CUBS||HENDRICKS(R)|| |
|CHICAGO CUBS: 2016: 103-58, won World Series
Manager: Joe Maddon (third season)
Who's new? OF Jon Jay, RHP Wade Davis, LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Koji Uehara, LHP Brian Duensing, RHP Eddie Butler
Who's gone? OF Dexter Fowler, IF/OF Jorge Soler, LHP Aroldis Chapman, LHP Travis Wood, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jason Hammel
Projected lineup: LF Kyle Schwarber (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI in two games), 3B Kris Bryant (.292, 39, 102), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.292, 32, 109), 2B Ben Zobrist (.272, 18, 76), SS Addison Russell (.238, 21, 95), RF Jason Heyward (.230, 7, 49, 11 SB), C Willson Contreras (.282, 12, 35), CF Jon Jay (.291, 2, 26 with Padres) or Albert Almora (.277, 3, 14 in 47 games)
Rotation: LH Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA), RH Jake Arrieta (18-8, 3.10), RH Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13), RH John Lackey (11-8, 3.35), LH Brett Anderson (1-2, 11.91 in four games with Dodgers) or LH Mike Montgomery (4-5, 2.52 with Mariners and Cubs) or RH Eddie Butler (2-5, 7.17 with Rockies) or LH Rob Zastryzny (1-0, 1.13 ERA in eight games) or RH Alec Mills (0-0, 13.50 in three games with Royals)
Key relievers: RH Wade Davis (2-1, 1.87, 27/30 SV with Royals), RH Pedro Strop (2-2, 2.85), RH Hector Rondon (2-3, 3.53, 18/23 SV), RH Koji Uehara (2-3, 3.45, 7/9 SV with Red Sox), RH Carl Edwards Jr. (0-1, 3.75), RH Justin Grimm (2-1, 4.10), LH Brian Duensing (1-0, 4.05 with Royals)
Hot spots: Fifth Starter. Of all the candidates vying to replace Hammel, who signed with Kansas City as a free agent, most have plenty of upside but didn't log many innings last year. That includes Anderson, who had one productive season and one unproductive season for the Dodgers. Keep an eye on southpaw Montgomery, who tossed two shutouts as a starter for the Mariners in 2015, came to the Cubs last year in a midseason trade, then was effective as a reliever. Last time he was on the mound, he recorded the save in Game 7 of the World Series.
Outlook: There hasn't been a back-to-back champion this century. For opponents of the Cubs, that might be the most tangible nugget of hope. Most of the key players return from a powerhouse team that played historically good defense, got no fewer than 165 innings from each of its top five starters, and featured a deep lineup led by NL MVP Kris Bryant. In the bullpen, two-time All-Star Davis is capable of replacing closer Chapman if he's healthy. Among the Cubs' regular position players, only Zobrist and new center fielder Jay are over 30 ' everyone else is either entering or in the midst of his prime. This is a strong outlook.
Manager: Dusty Baker (second season)
Who's new? CF Adam Eaton, C Matt Wieters, 1B Adam Lind, LHP Enny Romero, RHP Joe Blanton
Who's gone? CF Ben Revere, C Wilson Ramos, RHP Lucas Giolito, RHP Mat Latos, LHP Sean Burnett, RHP Mark Melancon, LHP Marc Rzepczynski, RHP Yusmeiro Petit
Projected lineup: CF Adam Eaton (.284, 14 HR, 59 RBI, 14 SB with White Sox), SS Trea Turner (.342, 13, 40, 33), 2B Daniel Murphy (.347, 25, 104), RF Bryce Harper (.243, 24, 86, 21 SB), 3B Anthony Rendon (.270, 20, 85), LF Jayson Werth (.244, 21, 69), 1B Ryan Zimmerman (.218, 15, 46) or Adam Lind (.239, 20, 58 with Mariners), C Matt Wieters (.243, 17, 66 with Orioles)
Rotation: RH Max Scherzer (20-7, 2.96 ERA), RH Tanner Roark (16-10, 2.83), LH Gio Gonzalez (11-11, 4.57), RH Stephen Strasburg (15-4, 3.60), RH Joe Ross (7-5, 3.43)
Key relievers: RH Shawn Kelley (3-2, 2.64), RH Joe Blanton (7-2, 2.48), RH Blake Treinen (4-1, 2.28), LH Sammy Solis (2-4, 2.41), RH Trevor Gott (0-0, 1.50), LH Oliver Perez (2-3, 4.95), LH Enny Romero (2-0, 5.91 with Rays)
Hot spots: First base and closer. Zimmerman posted a career-low .642 OPS last season and was often spelled by left-handed hitter Clint Robinson. Now 32, Zimmerman must prove he's worthy of regular playing time. Robinson and free-agent pickup Lind are next in line. The ninth inning could be a committee job too, though it's never been the Nationals' preferred method. After Kenley Jansen spurned D.C. for less money in L.A., their choices were limited. Kelley and Blanton have never closed in a combined 20 seasons in the majors, but both were stalwart set-up men last season. Joe Nathan and his 377 career saves are also in camp on a minor-league deal.
Outlook: Trading former top prospect Lucas Giolito to the White Sox for Eaton signaled the Nationals' championship ambitions. Their five-game loss to the Dodgers last October marked the third time in five years they've fallen just short of the NLCS. Washington begins the season with some familiar weapons ' a dangerous heart of the lineup, an experienced bench and exceptional starting pitching. Eaton is a huge upgrade over Revere at the plate, but Wieters will be pressed to replace Ramos' 3.5 wins above replacement (via FanGraphs). Failing to sign a marquee closer could prove fatal if Kelley, Nathan or someone else can't hold down the ninth inning.
|History on line as Nats return home for Game 5 vs. Cubs|
CHICAGO -- The Nationals have yet to reach the National League Championship Series, as they were eliminated in the NL Division Series in each of their previous three postseason appearances since moving to Washington.
However, when the Nationals face the Chicago Cubs in the deciding game of the best-of-five NLDS on Thursday night in Washington, their past playoff shortcomings won't factor into their confidence.
At stake is a chance to advance to the NLCS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Washington, after staving off elimination behind a dominant performance by right-hander Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday in a 5-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, will continue to focus on the business at hand.
Anything else -- including attempting to make franchise history -- doesn't matter.
"I've kind of said this all year -- I don't believe in that because it's a different team every year," Nationals shortstop Trea Turner said of the club's past. "You play different teams, different players, trades, free agents -- whatever it may be.
"It doesn't really matter (what happened in prior years). ... Whoever plays better, whoever executes more, you're going to move on."
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday he hasn't yet decided who will start for his team Thursday in the winner-take-all game. After Strasburg bumped right-hander Tanner Roark from his scheduled start on Wednesday, Baker said Roark could be a candidate to start Thursday against the Cubs.
But so could Gio Gonzalez, who took a no-decision in Game 2 of the NLDS. The left-hander allowed three runs and three hits over five innings, striking out six and walking two.
"We're going to make up our mind, see the condition of everybody," Baker said.
The Cubs faced elimination during the 2016 World Series after falling behind three games to one against the Cleveland Indians. Now, after failing to close out the Nationals at home on Wednesday night, manager Joe Maddon said he would attempt to keep his players even-keeled as they look to advance to the NLCS for the third straight year.
Chicago right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who got the win in Game 1 when he allowed just two hits and struck out six over seven innings, will start Game 5. Hendricks is 2-2 in five career starts against the Nationals and is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA against Washington this season, including the victory last week in Washington.
Given the fact his team has staved off elimination before, Maddon and his players are confident heading into Thursday. Yet after scoring just two runs in the last two games, the Cubs know they must be better on offense if they are to give Hendricks the support he needs.
"Our guys are ready to play," Maddon said after the Wednesday game. "It's been a really interesting series. Both teams have reflected one another pretty closely, and they got us tonight, and we have to fly back east and try to get them tomorrow night."
The Nationals face the same challenge.
"As a team, we feel good," said Michael A. Taylor, whose grand slam extended Washington's lead in Game 4. "We talked about it a little before the game about taking it one game at a time, and obviously, today was a necessary step to take it back to D.C. ... We're going back, and we'd just like to have another quality game."
|Last Updated: 10/23/2017 8:31:01 AM EST|