Davis saves day as Cubs reach NLCS

Chicago ral­lies against Wash­ing­ton in 9-8 thriller

Global Times - Weekend - - SPORTS - Wade Davis of the Chicago Cubs Photo: IC

Closer Wade Davis got the fi­nal seven outs as the Chicago Cubs edged the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als 9-8 to reach the Na­tional League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries where they will face the Los An­ge­les Dodgers.

The Cubs, who ended their curse by win­ning the World Se­ries last year, will meet the Dodgers for the sec­ond straight year with a berth in the World Se­ries on the line.

“We came out with a win. This is re­ally big,” said pitcher Davis. “Thank good­ness that was the out­come.”

Ad­di­son Rus­sell had two hits and four RBIs Thurs­day as the Cubs scored four runs off Na­tion­als ace pitcher Max Scherzer in the fifth in­ning of the four hour, 37 minute marathon con­test.

Davis was stel­lar as the Cubs closer, get­ting the fi­nal outs for his third save of the best-of-five se­ries which Chicago won three games to two. Re­liever Brian Duensing got the win for the Cubs who reached their third Cham­pi­onship Se­ries in a row.

“I didn’t want to give any­thing to those guys,” Davis said. “Those are gamechange type hit­ters and they have a lot of power. I would rather get them on first base than give up any homers.”

The Cubs will face the Dodgers Satur­day in Los An­ge­les.

The two teams com­bined to throw 14 pitch­ers. The Cubs turned a 4-1 deficit into an 8-4 ad­van­tage and man­aged to hang on as the Nats crept closer.

Rus­sell hit an RBI dou­ble in the sixth to give the Cubs an 8-4 lead. The Na­tion­als scored two in the bot­tom of the sixth as Jayson Werth scored on a wild pitch and Daniel Mur­phy added an RBI dou­ble to make it 8-6.

Cubs starter Kyle Hen­dricks went four in­nings and gave up four runs on nine hits.

Wash­ing­ton has lost in the first round of all four of its play­off ap­pear­ances since 2012.

Na­tion­als man­ager Dusty Baker was crushed by the loss.

“We didn’t play a very good game. They had far too many walks. That was one of weird­est games I have ever seen,” said Baker. “Just a se­ries of bad events.”

Baker pulled start­ing pitcher Gio Gon­za­lez af­ter the left-han­der gave up three runs on three hits and walked four bat­ters in just three in­nings of work.

“I was hop­ing Gio would go longer,” said Baker. “But you gotta do what you gotta do be­cause Gio’s con­trol was a lit­tle sus­pect tonight.”

The Na­tion­als pa­rade of pitch­ers out of the bullpen started with Matt Al­bers.

Michael A. Tay­lor hit a three-run homer in the sec­ond in­ning. He drove in four runs for the sec­ond game in a row, as he hit a grand slam Wed­nes­day at Chicago.

Mean­while, the New York Yan­kees picked right-han­der Masahiro Tanaka, of Ja­pan, to start Fri­day’s opener of the Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries against the host Hous­ton Astros.

The Yan­kees an­nounced their ro­ta­tion on Thurs­day, one day af­ter de­feat­ing the Cleve­land In­di­ans in game five of the AL Di­vi­sion Se­ries. Hous­ton an­nounced ear­lier in the week that left-han­der Dal­las Keuchel was its starter for game one.

wang­bozun@glob­al­times.com.cn

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