Rizzo comes through as Cubs edge Nationals

Rizzo comes through as Cubs edge Nationals

Jake Arrieta has pitched in his share of big games for the Chicago Cubs, and Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday will be no different. He spoke of needing to have fun.

"I couldn't live with myself if Schwarber had hit one out of the park", he said after the game, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

The Nationals finished third in the NL with 819 runs scored.

The Nationals knew one thing for certain after their 2-1 loss to the Cubs on Monday evening. That would be the only run the Nationals would score all game, however.

The series is now tied at one game, apiece with a jolt of energy that this offense needed. Maddon referred to Scherzer as "oppressively difficult" against right-handed hitters.

Hendricks, who started game one for the Chicago Cubs thanks to a strong second half of the regular season, went seven innings without allowing a single run.

Quintana didn't look great in his last start, and he's allowed seven runs in his last 10.1 innings at home overall. The team only has one hit from outfielder Ben Zobrist and catcher Wilson Contreras. The Nationals hoped to wreak havoc on the base paths on Lester, notorious for his inability and reluctance to pick runners off. "They got three, two-strike, two-out hits, and that was the ballgame".

Like Nationals ace Max Scherzer, who no-hit the Cubs for the first 6 1/3 innings on Monday, Arrieta will make his first start of the postseason after using a few extra days to strengthen his hamstring. He did his job, and he did it well - to the extent that, having thrown just 96 pitches, he probably should have been left in a little longer. Both sluggers adjusted accordingly for their second encounters. Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 with a double and a run for the Cubs.

What happened next: Perez threw Rizzo a slider that he popped high into center field before it dropped between three fielders. He had to watch and add strength to his right hamstring. And while the bullpen will be emptied at the first sign of trouble, don't expect the conservative Baker to start throwing out starters in the middle innings-perhaps Game 2 starter Gio Gonzalez in an emergency, but that's it. The ruling was upheld. After Game 3, it's really hero time. He did so even when the Nationals threatened in the fifth inning with a single by Zimmerman and walks by Michael A. Taylor and Howie Kendrick. The first baseman lashed a groundball that, after a dozen or so bounces, snuck into center field for a single. By extending the series, they give Harper (who has five career postseason homers in 16 games) more time to regain his timing.

"I couldn't tell you anything about that run around the bases", Zimmerman said.

Could the lefty surprise be reserve infielder Tommy La Stella, who is 3 for 6 (homer, triple, double) against Scherzer, or rookie Ian Happ, a switch hitter who also can play second?

Heading into the series, the thinking was that Nationals leadoff hitter Trea Turner would play a huge role in a potential series victory. Lester was on the ropes. Turner flung his bat and helmet in frustration.

The Cubs zeroed in when Rendon gloved a routine bouncer down the third-base line in the sixth.

Baker also left himself open to questions about whether walking Rizzo was a better choice in the eighth, or bringing in lefty closer Sean Doolittle. The 17-game victor pitched into the seventh of a 4-0 Game 1 victory, and manager Terry Francona should have virtually his entire bullpen available if needed.

Outside of their breakout eighth inning in Game 2, the Nats' deep lineup has struggled against Cubs pitchers.

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