The Cubs swiftly ended Max Scherzer's no-hitter and outing -- while also erasing a one-run deficit -- in the seventh inning. With one out, Ben Zobrist lined a double to left field for Chicago's first hit. That drew Washington manager Dusty Baker out of the dugout and to the mound, where he removed Scherzer. With left-hander Sammy Solis on the mound, Cubs manager Joe Maddon sent Albert Almora Jr. -- their most effective bench bat against lefties this season -- to pinch-hit for Kyle Schwarber. Almora ripped the game-tying RBI single into left field off Solis. The Cubs' rally ended when Addison Russell flied out to center and Jason Heyward, who singled, was doubled off at first base. More >
6:32 p.m. ET: Family affair
Bill and Joel Murray lead a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning. More >
Ryan Zimmerman took advantage of a pair of Schwarber errors to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead when he greeted Pedro Strop with a two-out RBI double in the sixth inning. Zimmerman drove in Daniel Murphy, who reached third base when Schwarber dropped a two-out fly ball near the left-field line and then booted it as it rolled along the warning track. The play had an 82-percent catch probability.
5:54 p.m. ET: Can't touch this
Like Stephen Strasburg in Game 1, Scherzer has held the Cubs hitless through five innings. Scherzer didn't allow a baserunner until the fourth and has since pitched around some potential trouble. He hit Jon Jay with a pitch and issued a two-out walk to Willson Contreras before getting a Zobrist groundout. Chicago squandered Schwarber's leadoff walk in the fifth on consecutive strikeouts by Russell and Jose Quintana.
Quintana was clearly ready for his long-awaited postseason debut. The veteran left-hander went toe-to-toe with Washington ace Scherzer, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out six through five innings. The Nationals put together a handful of long at-bats early in the game, forcing Quintana to throw 23 pitches in the second, but he recovered and finished the fifth with 85 pitches. One key for Quintana? Throwing 15 first-pitch strikes to the 19 Nationals he faced through five. More >
5:05 p.m. ET: Nine up, nine down
Scherzer's right hamstring has not been an issue as he has opened with three perfect innings on 39 pitches, striking out four batters. The Cubs' offense has provided little excitement outside of a long foul ball Schwarber sent down the right-field line with an exit velocity of 114.8 mph per Statcast™.
4:59 p.m. ET: Escaping trouble
A couple of defensive miscues by the Cubs set up a prime scoring opportunity for the Nationals in the third inning, but Washington could not capitalize when Heyward tracked down Anthony Rendon's fly ball in the right-center gap for the third out. Taylor reached on a leadoff single and took second when Quintana zipped a pickoff attempt right by Rizzo, who wasn't expecting the throw. Following consecutive outs, Bryce Harper slapped a hard ground ball to second base, and Zobrist -- starting over Javier Baez for offensive purposes -- couldn't glove it. Quintana fell behind in the count, 2-0, before Rendon ripped a 92.6-mph fastball to the warning track in right field that Heyward snared.
4:32 p.m. ET: Because you never know...
With Quintana and Scherzer on the mound, a dominant pitching performance is always a possibility. Nationals TV broadcaster F.P. Santangelo tweeted out, "There goes the no-hitter" after Werth's two-out single.