Our Pledge To You


LIVE BLOG: Cubs shut out Nats, take Game 1 of NLDS

Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Washington Nationals in the 6th inning during game one of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Kyle Hendricks outdueled Stephen Strasburg in a 3-0 Cubs victory against the Nationals in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday.

Hendricks threw seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. He and Cubs relievers Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis combined to not allow any hits after the second inning.

Strasburg carried a no-hit bid into the sixth, when a defensive mishap opened a new door for the Cubs.

Washington third baseman Anthony Rendon struggled to transfer a groundball by Javy Baez to lead off the sixth and was charged with an error. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back two-out RBI singles to end the hitless drought and give the Cubs the lead.

Rizzo added another RBI in the eighth with an RBI double to left field.

Strasburg finished the night with two unearned runs in seven innings. He gave up three hits, one walk and struck out a postseason franchise record 10 hitters.

Davis closed out the game with a perfect ninth for the save.

The Cubs and Nationals play Game 2 at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Wade Davis and the Cubs will take a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth against the Nationals.

Washington, which has only two hits tonight, has the middle third of its order due up.

The Cubs brought in Albert Almora to play center, and Leonys Martin is in left.

Cubs 3, Nationals 0; Middle 9th

Due up for Nats:

4. Murphy 0-2, BB
5. Zimmerman 0-3
6. Werth 0-2, BB

Carl Edwards Jr. came on in relief of Kyle Hendricks and threw a 1-2-3 eighth inning, preserving the Cubs’ 3-0 lead as we head to the ninth.

Edwards had two strikeouts in the inning, getting Trea Turner swinging and Anthony Rendon looking.

Brandon Kintzler will pitch the ninth inning for the Nats.

Cubs 3, Nationals 0; End of 8th

Due up for Cubs:

6. Russell 1-2, BB, single
7. Heyward 0-3
8. Baez 0-3, R

Anthony Rizzo hit a two-out double to drive in Jon Jay and give the Cubs an insurance run and a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning.

Rizzo, who singled in a run in the sixth, had two strikes against reliever Ryan Madson and drove the ball into left. Jay, who doubled as a pinch-hitter to lead off the inning, scored easily.

The Nationals are running out of chances and have the top of the order due up in the eighth.

Cubs 3, Nationals 0; Middle 8th

Due up for Nats:

1. Turner 0-3
2. Harper 1-3, single
3. Rendon 0-2, BB


Kyle Hendricks has thrown 106 pitches and seven innings of shutout baseball as the Cubs lead the Nationals 2-0 in the eighth inning.

Joe Maddon appeared ready to relieve Hendricks at the end of the top half of the inning, with Jon Jay waiting on deck and Pedro Strop warming up.

But Hendricks came back out and got two outs before an error by third baseman Kris Bryant brought up pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick. Hendricks struck him out, ending his night.

Final line on Hendricks: 7 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 R

Kendrick was pinch-hitting for Stephen Strasburg, who finished the night with 7 innings and no earned runs. He gave up two unearned runs in the sixth.

Final line on Strasburg: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K

Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals reacts after an out against the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Bryant also had the highlight of the inning with a bare-handed scoop and a perfect throw to first to get Jayson Werth by a step.

Ryan Madson has taken the mound in Strasburg’s place.

Cubs 2, Nationals 0; End 7th

Due up for Cubs:

9. Hendricks 0-1
1. Zobrist 0-3
2. Bryant 1-3, single, RBI

The Cubs threatened in the seventh but couldn’t add an insurance run against Stephen Strasburg.

Addison Russell hit a one-out single and stole second base. He had only two stolen bases during the regular season.

But Strasburg got Jason Heyward to pop out and then struck out Javy Baez for the second time tonight, his 10th strikeout of the night.

Jon Jay was in the on-deck circle at the time, and Pedro Strop was warming up, but Hendricks is coming out for the bottom half of the inning.

Cubs 2, Nationals 0; Middle 7th

Due up for Nats:

6. Werth 0-1, BB
7. Wieters 0-1, HBP
8. Taylor 1-2, single

Kyle Hendricks is in quality start territory now, having allowed no runs through six innings. He’s allowed two hits, three walks and a hit by pitch.

He has thrown 92 pitches, and the Cubs got Brian Duensing warming up with two outs in the sixth.

Hendricks is due up fifth, so we’ll have to wait and see what Joe Maddon decides to do with a 2-0 lead.

Cubs 2, Nationals 0; End of 6th

Due up for Cubs:

5. Schwarber 0-2, strikeout
6. Russell 0-1, BB
7. Heyward 0-2

An error by Anthony Rendon and back-to-back singles from Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead in Game 1 of the NLDS.

The hits were the first of the game for the Cubs, who ended Stephen Strasburg’s no-hit bid in the sixth inning.

Javy Baez reached on Rendon’s error to lead off the inning. He reached second on a sacrifice by Kyle Hendricks.

With two outs, Bryant singled to right-center field to score Baez, and Rizzo followed up with a single to right that scored Bryant.

Both runs were unearned.

Cubs 2, Nationals 0; Middle 6th

Due up for Nats:

2. Harper 1-2, single
3. Rendon 0-2
4. Murphy 0-1, BB

This live blogger is looking for something a bit different to write about, but Kyle Hendricks and Stephen Strasburg remain the story so far.

Hendricks offered up a 1-2-3 fifth inning to keep Game 1 of the NLDS scoreless. He’s thrown 76 pitches and allowed two hits and two walks.

Stephen Strasburg is headed out to start the sixth with no-hitter still intact.

Cubs 0, Nats 0; End of 5

Due up for Cubs:

8. Baez 0-1, strikeout
9. Hendricks 0-1, strikeout
1. Zobrist, 0-2

Stephen Strasburg now has tied the Nationals postseason record eight strikeouts through five innings. That includes the franchise’s Expos days.

He KO’d Kyle Schwarber on three pitches to lead off the fifth, and tossed his third consecutive 1-2-3 inning. He’s retired 10 straight batters.

Addison Russell, the only Cub to reach base, grounded out for the second out.

The bottom of the order is due up for the Nats in the bottom of the fifth.

Cubs 0, Nationals 0; Middle 5th

Due up for Nats:

8. Taylor 1-1, single
9. Strasburg, 0-1
1. Turner 0-2

Kyle Hendricks hasn’t been as dominant as Stephen Strasburg, but he’s done what he’s needed to so far, keeping the score knotted at 0-0 through four.

He issued two walks in the fourth, including the dreaded leadoff walk to Daniel Murphy. But he coaxed a double play ball out of Ryan Zimmerman and struck out Matt Wieters to end the inning.

Nats have had five baserunners against Hendricks but haven’t put a runner on third yet.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) reacts with home plate umpire Cory Blaser. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Cubs 0, Nats 0; End of Fourth

Due up for Cubs:

5. Schwarber, 0-1
6. Russell 0-0, BB
7. Heyward, 0-1

Stephen Strasburg has faced 13 Cubs hitters so far and struck out seven of them.

He added two more punchouts in the fourth, striking out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo for the second time each tonight.

Willson Contreras made good contact and hit a hard grounder up the middle, but a nice play by Daniel Murphy ended the inning.

Chicago Cubs’ Javier Baez walks back to the dugout after striking out. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Cubs are still hitless and have just one baserunner — Addison Russell’s walk in the second inning.

Cubs 0, Nats 0; Middle 4th

Due up for Nats:

4. Murphy 0-1
5. Zimmerman 0-1
6. Werth 0-1, strikeout

Kyle Hendricks put together his best inning here in the bottom of the third, putting down the top of the Nats order 1-2-3.

He got Trea Turner to ground out weakly back to the mound, and Bryce Harper struck out swinging. Anthony Rendon flew out to deep center to end the inning.

“Velocity is way up,” Cubs skipper Joe Maddon told TBS of Hendricks’ first three innings. “He’s got a good fastball (tonight). He’s kept his changeup out so far.”

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws in the second inning. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

Cubs 0, Nationals 0; End 3rd

Due up for Cubs:

2. Bryant 0-1, strikeout
3. Rizzo 0-1, strikeout
4. Contreras 0-1, strikeout

Has Stephen Strasburg blinked yet?

Add two more strikeouts to his tally after putting down Javy Baez on three straight pitches and getting Kyle Hendricks looking. That’s five punchouts in three innings so far.

Three-up, three-down for the Cubs in the third, still looking for their first hit of the postseason.

Joe Maddon told TBS he wasn’t worried so far.

First time through he’s pretty jacked up with the crowd,” Maddon said. “Let’s see how it goes the second time through the order.”

Cubs 0, Nationals 0; Middle 3rd

Due up for Nats:

1. Turner 0-1, groundout
2. Harper 1-1, single
3. Rendon 0-0, groundout

The Nats threatened in the second inning, but Kyle Hendricks escaped without any damage.

With two outs, Hendricks hit Matt Wieters with a pitch and then gave up a hard single to Michael A. Taylor. Pitcher Stephen Strasburg came up and hit a check swing grounder down the line at first that Anthony Rizzo easily fielded and flipped to Hendricks for the final out.

The Cubs will head to the plate still looking for their first hit.

Cubs 0, Nats 0; Headed to top of third

Due up for Cubs:

8. Baez 0-0
9. Hendricks 0-0
1. Zobrist 0-1, groundout

Three strikeouts now for Stephen Strasburg, who got Willson Contreras looking to lead off the second.

The strike zone has been a tad generous so far for Strasburg, but he couldn’t avoid a two-out walk to Addison Russell after falling behind 3-0 in the count.

He was left at first after a Jason Heyward flyout.

Strasburg’s command of his breaking pitches looks a bit shaky in the early going, so Cubs may have an opportunity to capitalize the second time through the order.

Cubs 0, Nationals 0; Mid-2nd

Due up for Nationals:

5. Zimmerman 0-0
6. Werth 0-0
7. Wieters 0-0

Kyle Hendricks gave up a single to Bryce Harper but retired the rest of the lineup to keep the score knotted at 0-0.

Harper lined a hard single to right with one out but was stranded at second base after a groundout and lineout.

Cubs 0, Nats 0; Top Second

Due up for Cubs:

4. Contreras 0-0
5. Schwarber 0-0
6. Russell 0-0

Stephen Strasburg came to play today.

He got Ben Zobrist to ground out on the first pitch to lead off the game, then struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo on seven total pitches.

It looks like Kyle Hendricks, who is headed out for his first frame, will need his best tonight.

Cubs 0, Nationals 0, Mid-First

Due up for Nats:

  1. Turner 0-0
  2. Harper 0-0
  3. Rendon 0-0

Keep it tuned here throughout Game 1 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Nationals for updates and analysis.

Here are tonight’s starting lineups:


  1. Ben Zobrist, RF
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Willson Contreras, C
  5. Kyle Schwarber, LF
  6. Addison Russell, SS
  7. Jason Heyward, CF
  8. Javy Baez, 2B
  9. Kyle Hendricks, P


  1. Trea Turner, SS
  2. Bryce Harper, RF
  3. Anthony Rendon, 3B
  4. Daniel Murphy, 2B
  5. Ryan Zimmerman, 1B
  6. Jayson Werth, LF
  7. Matt Wieters, C
  8. Michael A. Taylor, CF
  9. Stephen Strasburg, P

First pitch: 6:30 p.m.


In the meantime, catch up on our preview content:

Cubs-Nats: Breaking down the matchups, down to who has the best Rizzo

Dusty Baker on facing the Cubs: ‘Let’s go in and finish this thing’

Cubs to host playoff watch parties for NLDS outside Wrigley Field

John Lackey in bullpen, Hector Rondon out as Cubs set playoff roster