Hendricks, Cubs, shut out Nationals in Game 1
WASHINGTON—Anthony Rizzo had a pair of two-out RBI hits and Kyle Hendricks pitched seven scoreless innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 on Friday, Oct. 6, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
Cubs starter Hendricks got the win as he allowed just two hits with six strikeouts and three walks while tossing 106 pitches. Carl Edwards, Jr. pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts, and closer Wade Davis went the ninth for his fifth postseason save as the Nationals were held to two hits in the loss.
Ryan Zimmerman was ruled out for the second out in the ninth after he struck out and the ball hit him as he ran inside the baseline on a throw from catcher Willson Contreras to Rizzo at first.
The Cubs scored two unearned runs to take a 2-0 lead in the sixth while breaking up a no-hit bid by Stephen Strasburg, who gave up three hits in seven innings with 10 strikeouts.
No. 8 hitter Javier Baez reached on an error by third baseman Anthony Rendon to lead off the frame. He was bunted to second by pitcher Hendricks and then scored on a line single to right by Kris Bryant with two outs.
Bryant took second after right fielder Bryce Harper threw towards home, and Bryant beat the throw after a replay challenge following a relay throw to second by Strasburg.
That extra base by Bryant proved vital as he scored on a line single to right by Rizzo that just eluded the diving Harper for a 2-0 advantage in the sixth.
Strasburg allowed the two unearned runs with one walk. Ryan Madson gave up an RBI double in the eighth by Rizzo to make it 3-0 as he knocked in Jon Jay, who led off with a pinch-hit double.
The series opener was a pitcher's duel early on.
Strasburg needed just eight pitches to retire the side in the first, with two outs on strikeouts.
The hard-throwing right-hander fanned four of five batters in one stretch and did not allow a hit in the first five innings and had eight strikeouts.
Strasburg recorded strikeouts via a 98 mile-per-hour fastball, 91 mile-per-hour change and 84 mile-per-hour curve in one span.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who hit four homers in four games against the Cubs in the 2015 NLCS while with the New York Mets, flashed his leather in the fourth when he made a dazzling stop on a one-hopper to throw out Contreras for the final out.
Hendricks was not as flashy as Strasburg early on but was nearly as effective. He gave up a one-out single in the first to Bryce Harper in the first and a two-out liner to left in the second to Michael A. Taylor.
Strasburg was making his second postseason start and first since 2014. He was shut down in 2012 after Tommy John surgery and was injured last year.
Hendricks started Game 7 of the World Series last year as the Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians.
NOTES: All 16 position players in the starting lineup had at least 10 homers this year. ... TheCubs and the Nationals met for the first time in the postseason. ... Washington LHP Gio Gonzalez (15-9, 2.96 ERA) will face Cubs LHP Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA) on Saturday, Oct. 7, in Game 2. Gonzalez does not have a decision in four postseason starts in which he averaged less than five innings per start. ... Nationals RHP Max Scherzer (hamstring) is slated to start Game 3 Monday in Chicago. He was 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA in 31 starts this season. ... Cubs 3B Kris Bryant and Nationals RF Bryce Harper are both Las Vegas natives and good friends. They taped a segment Thursday that was shown on the scoreboard before the game about how to donate to victims of the Las Vegas shooting.