WASHINGTON — The Nationals scored one time in the first 16 innings of the National League Divisional Series vs. the Chicago Cubs. They scored five times in the eighth inning behind home runs by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.
Most importantly, they turned a 1-3 deficit and possible 0-2 series hole into a 6-3 lead and chance to pull even before leaving D.C. for Game 3.
The magic was started by a most unlikely National, as pinch hitter Adam Lind got the rally going, scorching a 0-2 pitch to Cubs left fielder Ben Zobrist. He was replaced by speedy youngster Victor Robles.
Trea Turner stuck out swinging on a 2-2 count, but speed would not be needed for what happened next. Bryce Harper made sure that Robles could trot home:
The home run tied the game at three, but also threatened to derail the rally that might give the Nats the lead.
Not getting caught up in the moment, Anthony Rendon showed elite patience, taking the walk on a full count. Reliever Mike Montgomery then replaced Carl Edwards Jr. to face Daniel Murphy.
With a little station-to-station running, Murphy lined a single that advanced Rendon to second base.
Long-time National Ryan Zimmerman took care of the rest:
The Nationals took care of business in the top of the 9th, shutting the door on the Cubs and sending the series to Chicago tied at one game a piece.