Chicago Cubs: An ace lies in wait – and chaos ensues
Taylor already made his mark on the series, hitting a grand slam off of Wade Davis in Game 4 at Wrigley to send the series back to Washington. On an 0-2 count, Davis hit a fastball that was practically at his head into the left field bullpen, and the Nats suddenly took a commanding 4-1 lead.
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The stadium erupted. Being what felt like the only Cubs fan in my section, I was getting chirped left and right. Hendricks had been the stoic warrior for the Cubs in Game 1, matching Stephen Strasburg pitch for pitch and earning a crucial victory to open the series. But the Nats had gotten to him early, and the Cubs suddenly faced a steep uphill climb.
The Cubs got two runs back in the top of the third, but things looked grim when 2017 NL Cy Young Max Scherzer came on in relief in the fifth. Remember that Scherzer had dominated the Cubs in Game 3, holding the Cubs hitless for 6 2/3 innings before Ben Zobrist doubled. Dusty Baker controversially yanked Scherzer, and Albert Almora promptly singled to tie the game at 1-1 before Rizzo ultimately provided the game-winning hit.
Fast-forward three days later, and Scherzer has the ball with another one-run lead. The whole stadium was abuzz as the jumbotron flashed Scherzer’s imposing brown and blue visage. And again, Scherzer got off to a fast start as he retired the first two Cubs hitters. What happened next was as improbable an inning as any I can remember in postseason history.