While few things make me happier than baseball when it’s cold outside, I can’t imagine playing baseball during a windy, rainy night in Chicago makes any of the players happy. It looked freaking awful. Luckily, the series moves to Washington for tonight’s NLDS finale, when we get to see who gets to face Los Angeles in the NLCS.
The Nationals have announced that Gio Gonzalez will start tonight, while the Cubs will send Kyle Hendricks to the mound. Gonzalez had a decent outing in Washington’s Game 2 victory over Chicago, when he went five innings and gave up three runs. Hendricks pitched 7 innings in Game 1 when the Cubs shut out the Nationals.
The Nationals’ lineup has been kept mostly quiet in this series, but they drew 9 walks in last night’s victory, and were helped by a grand slam by Michael Taylor in the 8th inning. Cubs’ shortstop Addison Russell was robbed of a two-run home run when the wind knocked it down, one of a few scoring opportunities the Cubs couldn’t take advantage of.
While the rainy conditions likely contributed to the high number of walks drawn by Washington, the Nats will need to display the same patience at the plate to overcome the offensive drought they’ve been going through.
Whoever wins gets the less-than-desirable task of facing the Los Angeles Dodgers, who will come into the series on extended rest after sweeping the Diamondbacks. Either way, these do-or-die games are what make October baseball the absolute best.