Tyler Byrum

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Nationals place faith in Gio Gonzalez, name him Game 5 starter vs. Cubs

Nationals place faith in Gio Gonzalez, name him Game 5 starter vs. Cubs

The Washington Nationals have named Gio Gonzalez the Game 5 starter vs. the Chicago Cubs at Nationals Park on Thursday night.

Gonzalez gets the call in the pivotal winner-take-all contest coming off of normal regular season rest, four days from his last appearance. Originally Stephen Strasburg was the anticipated starter in Game 5 coming into the series, but a rainout on Tuesday evening allowed manager Dusty Baker to change up the rotation. Strasburg got pushed up to the Game 4 starting role, in place of Tanner Roark, after starting Game 1.

It is the second straight game that Roark has been passed over for one of the Nationals top three pitchers. The Wilmington, Illinois native will be available out of the bullpen, looking for his fourth ever postseason appearance.

RELATED: STRASBURG’S GEM, TAYLOR’S GRAND SLAM FORCES GAME 5

Starting Game 2 for the Nationals this past Saturday, Gonzalez pitched a respectable 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits and six strikeouts.

Including his postseason start, the 32-year-old is 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs in 2017 with a 3.27 ERA.

Throughout his 10-year career, Gonzalez has five postseason starts all resulting in no decisions and a 4.24 ERA.

This is the second winner-take-all Game 5 Gonzalez has pitched. His first was back in 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals where the Nationals blew a 6-0 lead after three.

MORE GAME 5: D.C. METRO EXTENDS HOURS FOR NATS VS. CUBS

Gonzalez will duel the Cubs starter, Kyle Hendricks (1-0, 0.00 ERA in 2017 postseason) in Game 5. As the Game 1 starter in this series, Hendricks completely shut down the Nationals to only two hits, while only striking out five. He lasted seven innings handing off the game to Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis to preserve the shutout.

In an all-hands on deck move, the Nationals also have their ace Max Scherzer available coming out of the bullpen in an attempt to advance to the National League Championship Series for the first time as the Nationals..

The D.C. four professional sports franchises have lost their last 12 games with a conference finals appearance on the line, according to the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg.

Since relocating to Washington, the franchise has ended two of their three postseason runs in a Game 5 situation in the NLDS. Both of those series were at home as well.

MORE MATS: HOW TO WATCH, FOLLOW NATS VS. CUBS, GAME 5

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D.C. Metro extends hours for Nationals vs. Cubs Game 5

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D.C. Metro extends hours for Nationals vs. Cubs Game 5

Good news for those heading to those heading to Nationals Park for a winner-take-all Game 5 in the NLDS; the D.C. Metro will be open for an extra hour on Thursday night.

The last Green Line train to leave the Navy Yard-Ballpark station toward Greenbelt will depart at 12:22 a.m. on Friday morning. The last Green Line train heading toward Branch Avenue, will depart at 12:48 a.m. on Friday.

The original departure time on the Metro schedule was 11:02 p.m. and 11:48 p.m. respectively. Typically a major league baseball game lasts three hours, not giving much time for error with an 8:08 p.m. ET start time on Thursday night. 

Enough time for both a full game and a potential postgame celebration.

In a release from the WMATA, the metrorail announced that the company Exelon funded the extended service for $100,000. 

Forcing a Game 5 after being down 2-1 to the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals are hoping the third time is the charm in Game 5s. Tonight marks the third chance that Washington can clinch a berth into the National League Championship Series on home field since 2012. 

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In history-making debut, Nathan Walker records first-career NHL goal for Capitals

In history-making debut, Nathan Walker records first-career NHL goal for Capitals

Nathan Walker is checking off a bunch of firsts in the NHL record books.

In addition to being the first Australian national player to see action in an NHL game on Saturday night, Walker scored the first goal of his career. 

Now in the NHL record books, the NHL rookie stands alone in goals scored by Australian born players.

RELATED: CAPS BREAK OPEN SCORING IN FIRST THREE MINUTES

The 23-year-old got his first tally late in the second period for the Washington Capitals. His goal was part of a blow out of the Montreal Canadiens in the Capitals home opener at Capital One Arena.

G'day mate, keep checking off those records. 

His brother, fiance, mom and dad made the trip across the world to see Walker's debut and it did not disappoint.