The Washington Nationals defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-0 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday. The game was pushed back a day after a rainout on Tuesday, with the misty weather persistent throughout Game 4. With the extra day of rest, the Nationals were able to hand the ball to ace Stephen Strasburg, who dominated the Cubs on Wednesday.
Strasburg may have been sick entering the start, but he failed to show any ill effects on the mound. He tossed a performance that D.C. baseball fans envisioned when he was selected with the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB amateur draft. He threw seven scoreless innings and had 12 strikeouts while allowing just three hits.
Over 19 career postseason innings, Strasburg has allowed one earned run in three outings, for a 0.47 ERA.
After Washington took a 1-0 lead following an error by shortstop Addison Russell in the third inning, the score stayed that way until the top of the eighth inning. Cubs closer Wade Davis came in with the bases loaded, giving up Michael A. Taylor’s opposite-field grand slam, the ball landing in the basket above the ivy.
Chicago used the two biggest weapons in its starting rotation, with Jake Arrieta starting and working four innings before he was relieved by Jon Lester, who worked 3.2 innings. Both pitchers are likely sidelined for Thursday’s Game 5.
The winner Thursday will advance to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series that is set to begin on Saturday.