WASHINGTON, DC.– Every single analyst on TBS predicted the Cubs to lose to Washington in the NLDS opener. They were all proven wrong and taught a lesson by the Professor Kyle Hendricks who dominated on the mound to lead the Cubs to a 3-0 Game One victory!
Hendricks (1-0) matched up very well with Stephen Strasburg and acted like he belonged there. He pitched seven scoreless innings only allowing Washington two hits. Hendricks struck out six and saved his best baseball of the year for the postseason.
Through the first five innings, it was a pitcher’s day. It was scoreless going into the sixth inning but the Cubs broke things open!
Javy Baez reached first on an error by Anthony Rendon. Kyle Hendricks then laid down the perfect bunt to advance Baez to second. Ben Zobrist flying out to center on the next at-bat was key. Since it was 2 outs, they could run and Baez scored when Kris Bryant singled to right center. Bryant reached second advancing on the throw. Anthony Rizzo backed up Kris with a single to right to drive in Bryant for a 2-0 Cubs lead.
A few innings later, Jon Jay got to third with a double then a groundout in the eighth. Anthony Rizzo then doubled deep to left field which scored Jay for a 3-0 Cubs lead.
Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis combined for two shutout innings out of the bullpen and ended any chance of the Nationals scoring. Edwards got the hold, while Davis converted his first save of the 2017 postseason.
The Washington batters looked lifeless with only two hits. Kyle Hendricks, Carl Edwards, and Wade Davis managed to mow down the Nationals big 5 (Turner, Harper, Rendon, Murphy, Zimmerman). What was really good about the pitching on Friday was that those five talented hitters only combined for one hit. Even Daniel Murphy was held to only reaching base once which came on a walk.
The Cubs looked very good on Friday and much like last year’s 103-win team. Many predicted the Nationals in a cake walk but the Cubs should no longer be underdogs. They already have one win knocked out and only need two more.
The Cubs have another game in Washington on Saturday then travel back to Chicago for back-to-back home games. They can easily close out this series with another win tomorrow.