Chicago Cubs: Five storylines that changed the 2019 season

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Chicago Cubs: Nationals put the first nail in the Cubs 2019 coffin

2. Nationals at Chicago Cubs in August -If there was a telling series near the end of the season it had to be the Chicago Cubs welcoming the Washington Nationals to Wrigley Field in August. The Cubs were just a half-game back of the Cardinals  when the series began but after three humiliating losses, the Cubs sat 2 1/2 games back.

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When the Cubs took the field against the Nationals they were 5-5 in their last 10 games but were a comfortable 44-20 at home in the Friendly Confines. Little did they know that Nationals hurler Anibal Sánchez would pitch 8 1/3 innings in the first game of the series, giving up only one hit and one earned run.

The Nationals put up 14 hits in the first game of the series scoring runs throughout the game. The Cubs put up goose eggs until a minor sputter in the ninth inning where they picked their first and only three runs of the game losing 9-3.  Left-hander John Lester began his slide downward giving up six earned runs in four innings.

In the second game, once again the Nationals scored in four separate innings including four runs in the fourth inning. The Cubs could only muster one run in two separate innings and collected another loss on the North Side, 7-2.

In the last game of the series, the Nationals hurler Stephen Strasburg had an incredible day against the Cubs with 10 strikeouts in six innings and giving up only two earned runs.  Chicago finally answered with their bats in the eighth inning and tied the game as it went into extra innings. In the 11th inning, Tyler Chatwood gave up the final two runs as the Nationals swept the Cubs and cast the first dark omen for the end of the season in third loss 7-5.

The Nationals went on to chase down a Wild Card slot and eventually beat the Brewers to get into the postseason. The Cubs seemed deflated after getting swept at home and never really recovered.