Chicago Cubs: An in-person reflection of last season’s NLDS clincher

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images /
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Chicago Cubs
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: A historic chain of events unfolds

Willson Contreras and Ben Zobrist singled, bringing Addison Russell to the plate. Russell is having a brutal series, hitting just 2-15 with seven strikeouts. This was perhaps the most favorable matchup Scherzer could have asked for in this situation.

Except when Russell doubled down the line on the first pitch of the at-bat, the Cubs had miraculously recaptured the lead. Then, Scherzer and the Nats imploded. Chicago went on to score two more runs on behalf of a dropped third strike and a throwing error, plus a wonky catcher’s interference followed by Scherzer plunking Jay.

Normally, I would have been ecstatic. But what had just occurred was so unfathomable, and I think I was just as stunned as the Nats fans around me, who could not believe that they were on the precipice of another historic collapse.

I mean, this is Max Scherzer. He is one of the most dominant pitchers of the decade. The Nats had expected him perhaps to finish the game and send them to the NLCS. Instead, he was done after just one inning. I have never heard a ballpark go so quiet.

Matters only worsened for the Nats when the much-maligned Jayson Werth misplayed a ball off the bat of Addison Russell in the sixth, allowing another run to score and giving the Cubs an 8-4 lead.