Cubs survive one of the strangest elimination games ever played

From ESPN - October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON -- It will go down as one of the wildest elimination games in postseason history, but somehow, some way -- while using seven pitchers -- the Chicago Cubs advanced to their third consecutive National League Championship Series behind a 9-8 win over the Washington Nationals.

It was not supposed to end this way for Washington, not when righty Max Scherzer marched in from the bullpen in the top of the fifth inning to a roar from the sold-out crowd. But the reigning Cy Young winner was not his usual dominant self.

Leading 4-3 at home in Thursday night's elimination game, Scherzer was supposed to bridge the middle innings and deliver the lead to the Nationals' brilliant late-game pitchers. It never happened, because the most unusual of innings did.

After Scherzer got reigning MVP Kris Bryant to ground out and current Hank Aaron Award finalist Anthony Rizzo to line out to center, that's when the Cubs went to work.

Willson Contreras singled, followed by a Ben Zobrist pinch-hit base knock. Then came the hit of the game, a first-pitch double down the left field line by shortstop Addison Russell. Scherzer was on the ropes, all after two outs. But the Cubs were not done. A dropped third strike, catcher's interference and a hit by pitch followed. Really. All that happened with Scherzer on the mound. A 4-3 deficit turned into a 7-4 Chicago lead.


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