There are no moral victories this time of year. As much as Chicagoans questioned why Maddon pulled Quintana, Nats fans wondered about Baker's decision to yank Scherzer after 98 pitches. The Cubs' right-hander hasn't been fully healthy since the end of August, nursing a tender hamstring for over a month now.
Arrieta hasn't pitched in a game since he lasted just three innings in a loss at St. Louis on September 26. Obviously, he needs to be much better in this spot if the Cubs are to get the win. Come back here for all the latest updates on the game's start time or a rescheduling.
A calmness persisted in the Cubs' dugout Monday despite four errors, no hits for 6 1/3 innings and a baserunning gaffe.
When Arrieta has struggled this season, it has commonly been due to his control. His sinker and slider/cutter were more lively in the second half, with his velocity trending upwards, his movement more closely resembling that of his 2015 heights, and his mechanics, sequencing, and pitch mix all coming into harmony. He feels very good arm- and leg-wise right now.
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Tanner Roark will take to the mound for the Washington Nationals in this one. The Cubs, however are looking to put the hammer down on the Nationals, who have lost in the NLDS in 2012, 2014 and 2016.
Edwards Jr. and closing pitcher Wade Davis were able to finish out game one, each delivering a solid shutout inning.
The Cubs bought two veterans, Jon Lester for $25 million a year and John Lackey for $16 million a year, and also found a pitching coach in Chris Bosio with the ability to develop pitchers, ala former Cards' pitching coach Dave Duncan.
Barnes' hit came in handy because of a three-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning by Arizona's Brandon Drury that silenced - at least momentarily - a blue towel-waving sellout crowd.
WASHINGTON-Like any good D.C. politician, Bryce Harper has mastered the art of the pivot.
That leaves a host of fresh arms in the 'pen: Justin Wilson, Brian Duensing, and John Lackey.
It led to a stretch where the Cubs at least mattered, even if they weren't always good. He threw five and two thirds innings, allowing only two hits, one walk, and one unearned run, along with seven strikeouts.
Arrieta has been nursing a hamstring injury since the end of September, but Joe Maddon said the 2015 NL Cy Young victor is ready to play.
Rizzo, whom the Nationals chose to pitch to in the eighth rather than walk him to get to catcher Willson Contreras, dropped a bloop single into shallow center field off Oliver Perez. "We used to lose 90 games every year and now we're expected to win 90 games, and if we're not successful in the postseason it's a failed season". Carlos Beltran's RBI double in the top of the ninth was the difference as the Astros edged the Boston Red Sox 5-4 in Game Four of their AL Division Series at Fenway Park.
Roark grew up south of Joliet, in Wilmington, Illinois, and attended the University of Illinois. In the sixth inning, Strasburg, who was also going for a no-hitter, looked just human enough for the Cubs to take advantage.
The winds at Wrigley are blowing favorably for a return to the NLCS for the defending champs.
Nats manager Dusty Baker was noncommittal on whether Roark would still pitch or whether Game 1 starter Stephen Strasburg would start in the event of a rainout.