By: Alex Patt
The Cubs come back home to Chicago to play the next two games of the NLDS with a 1-1 tie in the series. The Cubs took game one by a score of 3-0 and lost a heart breaker in game two, 6-3. The game three match up will feature Max Scherzer and Jose Quintana at Wrigley Field at 3:08 Monday afternoon.
The game one start went to Kyle Hendricks, who has earned the full trust of Joe Maddon and company. Hendricks responded by throwing a masterpiece going 7 innings, giving up two hits, no runs and six strikeouts. Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis closed it off with scoreless efforts to clinch a 3-0 win. The Cubs were getting no-hit through 5 2/3 innings when Kris Bryant’s RBI single got the them on the hit and scoreboard, Anthony Rizzo followed up with a line drive that went in-and-out of Bryce Harper’s glove which scored Bryant. Rizzo came up with an RBI hit in the 8th inning to make it 3-0 and that is where the score would stand.
Game two was a tough one to swallow. The Cubs got a solo shot from Willson Contreras in the 2nd inning and a two-run homer from Anthony Rizzo later in the game as they took a 3-1 lead into the 8th. Edwards came on and surrendered a game-tying home run to Harper on a hanging curve ball, followed by two more Nationals hits and Mike Montgomery gave up a three-run shot to Ryan Zimmerman. The Cubs fell 6-3, tying the series. While a split was the ultimate goal, it was really tough being close to being up 2-0 and giving it up. Regardless the series is not close to being over.
Game three at Wrigley will see the postseason debut of Jose Quintana as he faces the reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. This is an interesting matchup seeing as Scherzer has been battling hamstring issues and is starting game three rather than game one. It still will not be easy considering Scherzer finished the season 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 0.902 WHIP and 268 strikeouts, but if he is not 100%, that can play a big role on how he does. Quintana finished his second half with the Cubs sporting a 3.74 ERA, 1.103 WHIP and 3.25 FIP in 84.1 innings, being his first postseason start there will be a lot of anticipation to see how he performs.