Chicago Cubs: Top 5 moments of the golden era of Cubs baseball

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Top 5 moments of the Golden Era – #3: 2017 NLDS

Now, as defending World Series champions, the Cubs looked forward to the 2017 season and their quest to repeat. Fully seen as title contenders after winning a ring and appearing in two straight National League Championship Series, all eyes were on Chicago and there was no doubt they were planning to come back for more.

After finishing 2016 with a 103-59 record, the Cubs ended the regular season in 2017 with a mark of 92-70, which was still good for first place in a rather lackluster NL Central, as second place belonged to the Brewers with a record of just 86-76. The Cubs’ time to shine was once again amongst them as they took on a Bryce Harper-led Washington Nationals.

After winning Game 1, Chicago blew a lead in Game 2, allowing five runs in the eighth inning before coming back to take Game 3 and, thus, a 2-1 series lead. With one win to go, the Nationals used a little trickery and mystery as to who their starting pitcher would be as Game 4 was initially postponed, and thus gave pitchers an extra day of rest. In the end, it was Stephen Strasburg that came in, fanning 12 Cubs over seven shutout innings. The Nationals tied up the series for a pivotal win-or-go-home Game 5.

In a Kyle Hendricks-Gio Gonzalez matchup, these two pitchers were far from either side of the decision. A back and forth see-saw affair ultimately came down to the ninth inning and an exhausted Wade Davis looking for a seven-out save, recording his third save of the series in the process which tied a record. The final batter, Bryce Harper, struck out swinging and the Cubs advanced to their third NLCS appearance in as many years.