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Strasburg, Nationals beat Cubs 5-0, force Game 5
Thursday Oct 12, 2017 12:00am

Strasburg, Nationals beat Cubs 5-0, force Game 5
(CHICAGO) – Stephen Strasburg gave Washington everything he had, and it was more than enough. So much for all those questions about heart and character. Strasburg shook off an illness and pitched seven dominant innings, Michael A. Taylor hit a late grand slam and the Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 5-0 on Wednesday to send their NL Division Series to a decisive Game 5. Moments after Sean Doolittle closed out Strasburg's first career playoff win, the focus shifted to the final game of the series in Washington on Thursday night. Kyle Hendricks starts for the World Series champion Cubs. Washington manager Dusty Baker was non-committal when asked about his starter, with Gio Gonzalez and Tanner Roark the most likely candidates. Strasburg got sick after his terrific performance in the playoff opener on Friday, and the Nationals had planned to go with Roark even after a persistent rain washed out Game 4 on Tuesday. But Strasburg felt better when he woke up Wednesday and told Baker he wanted the ball. That was all Baker needed to hear. Strasburg struck out 12 , allowed three hits and walked two. Chicago wasted a gutsy performance from Jake Arrieta and solid relief by Game 2 starter Jon Lester in its first home playoff loss since Game 4 of the World Series last year. NL MVP Kris Bryant struck out four times, and the defending champs went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. Arrieta walked five in four innings in his return from a hamstring injury, but limited Washington to an unearned run and two hits. Lester got the Cubs all the way to the eighth, picking off Ryan Zimmerman before departing after Daniel Murphy's two-out single. But Chicago's bullpen faltered from there. Carl Edwards Jr. walked two in a row and threw ball one to Taylor before he was replaced by Wade Davis. Taylor then drove a 1-1 pitch into the basket overhanging the brick wall in right field for his first career homer in the playoffs.

A.L. DIVISIONAL SERIES
N.Y Yankees 5 – Cleveland 2 (Yankees win 3-2)

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