Chicago Cubs News: Cubs snatch home field away from the Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Kris Bryant /

Baseball tends to be this way. It’s so hard to repeat, that most have already moved on from the Chicago Cubs to a team like the Washington Nationals. But the defending champions don’t intend on being discarded so easily.

10 more to go. It was a small step for the Chicago Cubs regarding repeating, but it was critical. They survived Stephen Strasburg, who was impressive in his own right. But the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks was better, and the bullpen did its part in the win. And the two guys the Cubs look to in October stepped up. Anthony Rizzo drove in two, and Kris Bryant drove in one to give them a 3-0 victory and move home-field advantage in their favor.

Hendricks got his opportunity last night, and he made the most of it. Joe Maddon took off the training wheels–which seemed a little late for us, but whatever–and let him lead the way. He outdueled one of the best pitchers in the second-half and led the Cubs to the win and a 1-0 NLDS lead. The journey for Hendricks has been one that he never thought was too big, and the if the Game 7 of the World Series wasn’t too big–there’s no reason Game 1 of the NLDS would be.

The Cubs decided to go with John Lackey, even though there was a lot of talk how he wouldn’t pitch out of the bullpen. The surprise that hit me most was leaving Hector Rondon off the roster. More so how Justin Wilson made it over him. Wilson has shut Daniel Murphy down to the tune of 0-for-6. So did he make the roster because of that? It looks that way. Rondon seemed to pitch a little bit better towards the end of the year, but he was tentative much of the season. So while a surprise, keeping Lackey as an insurance policy if Jake Arrieta can’t go was a smart move.

These and other stories you might have missed:

‘Cubs ride dominant Hendricks in Game 1 win’ – Cubbies Crib

‘From under the radar to postseason ace’ – Cubbies Crib

‘Lackey makes NLDS roster, Rondon left off‘ – Cubbies Crib

‘Role players to difference makers’– Sports on Earth

‘Girardi ruined the Yanks chances to tie’ – ESPN

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