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NLDS 2017: Nationals vs. Cubs Game 5 Live Blog

NLDS 2017: Nationals vs. Cubs Game 5 Live Blog

It's time for yet another terrifying tradition on the D.C. sports calendar: an elimination game at home! 

All eyes are on Nats Park tonight as the Nationals, who are playing in Game 5 thanks to Stephen Strasburg and Michael A. Taylor, look to win their first playoff series since moving to D.C. 

Don't forget to follow along on Twitter as we bring you live updates from the stadium. 


12:45 AM - Cubs 9, Nats 8: It's over. Davis strikes out Harper to get the final out, the Nationals drop Game 5 to the Cubs and their season is done. 


12:30: Top 9: Cubs 9, Nats 8: This has been one of the most absurd baseball games in Nats history. Do they have one more inning of magic left?

12:26 AM - Jose Lobaton gets picked off first, and after an excrutiatingly long reply to prove it, the Nats' inning is over. 

12:20 AM - 

12:17 AM - Cubs 9, Nats 8: Michael A. Taylor answers yet again. RBI single and it's a one-run game. 

12:01 AM - We'll just leave this here:

12:00 AM - Important WMATA information, because it wouldn't be a DC playoff game without it:

11:47 PM - Cubs 9, Nats 7: Harper with an RBI flyout and it's a two-run game again. 

11:30 PM - Bottom 7: Cubs 9, Nats 6: Cubs add an extra run after Kris Bryant beats out a double play, scoring Jon Jay. 

11:11 PM - Top 7: Cubs 8, Nats 6: It ain't over yet! Murphy adds an RBI double and the Nats have life. 

11:05 PM - Cubs 8, Nats 5: Werth scores on a passed ball, and the Nats aren't dead yet. 

10:49 PM - Great!:

10:47 PM - Bottom 6th: Cubs 8, Nats 4: Jayson Werth misplays the final out in left field and the Cubs add another run. 

Don't click this. 

10:34 PM: Top 6 - Cubs 7, Nats 4: Scherzer won't come back out. Brandon Kintzler gets the 6th inning. 

10:24 PM - uhhhhhhhh:

10:22 PM - 

10:05 PM - Bottom 5: Cubs 7, Nats 4: The Cubs rough up Scherzer for four runs and take the lead. It's happening ... 

10:00 PM - 


The Cy Young winner comes in in relief. Elimination baseball is the best baseball. 

9:30 PM - Top 4th: Nats 4, Cubs 3: That'll be it for Gio. Matt Albers takes over on the mound. Gonzalez's final line is 3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB and 5 Ks. 

9:25 PM - THIS BUNT:

9:20 PM - Bottom 3rd: Nats 4, Cubs 3: Control issues come back to bite Gonzalez. Cubs get two across - one on a wild pitch - to make it a one-run game. 

Meanwhile, at the stadium:

9:10 PM - Here are your Statcast numbers for both those homers:

9:07 PM - TOP 3rd: Nats 4, Cubs 1: Well, that was fun. Now we just have to get through 6 innings of 2015 NLDS references! 

8:55 PM - MICHAEL. A. TAYLOR. It's a 3-run homer and now the Nats are up 4-1:

8:48 PM - DANIEL MURPHY DINGER. It's 1-1. 

8:38 PM - Javy Baez, man:

8:30 PM - Bottom 1st: Cubs 1, Nats 0: Nats get a leadoff single from Turner but can't do anything with it. 

8:15 PM - Top 1st - Cubs 1, Nats 0: Cubs plate one run in the top of the first. Gonzalez escapes a bases-loaded jam. Control's not looking strong to start. 

7:58 PM - Before we get started, take a look back at how everyone at NBC Sports Washington saw this series playing out. Shoutout to Rich Tandler for coming in *hot* that a Nats in 3 prediction. 

7:55 PM - 

7:45 PM - I wonder what very insightful opinion Marlins Man will have about the Nationals' crowd tonight:

7:30 PM - Just want everyone to remember that Cubs pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. had this to say about Game 5 last night:

Which happened right after this:

7:00 PM - It'll be interesting to see how much Gonzalez mixes his pitches tonight. It's cleary been something he's worked more on as the season's progressed:

The Cubs are a free-swinging group, but Gonzalez has continually had command issues, posting a BB% that was above the league average in eight of his nine seasons. On a night that's expected to remain cold and wet, having a feel for all his pitches might make all the difference. 

6:40 PM - Baseball weather! 

6:30 PM - The lineups for both teams are officially out, and the Nats are going with the same group that kept them alive last night: 


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The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful


The sound of Bryce Harper's first spring training HR is beautiful

It's that wonderful time of year again — when baseball teams flock to warmer climates for spring training and the regular season is practically around the corner — and Bryce Harper is already killing it.

It took the Washington Nationals a few games to brush away their offseason cobwebs and get back into gear, but since the beginning of March, they're riding a five-game win streak as of Sunday the 4th.

They are 6-4-1 in spring training going into Monday's matchup against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Since Thursday, the Nats have taken down — in order — the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Detroit Tigers and the Mets again. Sunday's 6-2 win against the Tigers was in large part thanks to Harper's bat, as the star of the team drilled his first home run of spring training. 


Turn up the volume for this one because the sound of Harper's contact with the ball is just beautiful — and perhaps enough to get you pumped for the March 29 opener.

Harper blew this ball away in the bottom of the third for a two-run homer with Howie Kendrick on base. He also had a single in the fourth and finished the game with three RBI.

Gio Gonzalez was the winning pitcher for the Nats. 


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Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches


Per usual, Max Scherzer strikes out Tim Tebow on three pitches

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where we can watch a former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (attempt to) hit against a three-time Cy Young pitcher in a Major League Baseball preseason game.

Max Scherzer took less than a minute to strike out Tim Tebow, who was batting cleanup for the Mets in a spring training game Friday. You can watch the whole at-bat here:

It looks like Tebow and Scherzer are starting to develop a pattern - last year’s matchup between the two went down the exact same way.

Tebow was able to redeem himself later in the game with his first hit of the year against Nats prospect Erick Fedde. He will likely begin the season with the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies, but Mets GM Sandy Alderson said he believes Tebow will eventually see some at-bats in the Majors.