Cubs win in extra innings with a little help from El Mago


The Cubs pulled out a nail-biting 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals in their makeup game on Thursday. The contest was tied at 2-2 in the 5th inning and 3-3 in the 7th, before being decided in extras.

Mike Montgomery started the game for the Cubs, and he pitched four innings, giving up three hits, one walk, two earned runs and racked up a pair of strikeouts. He was pulled for Jesse Chavez by Joe Maddon in the bottom of the 5th inning after giving up a single to Nationals 2B Adrian Sanchez. Chavez ended up giving up a run before escaping the inning.

This was the first of several decisions that had Cubs fans nervous.

In the top of the 8th, with the bases loaded, Maddon made perhaps his most intriguing decision of the game, choosing to pinch-hit the struggling Willson Contreras for Victor Caratini. Perhaps the most confusing part of the choice, was that Caratini hit a grand-slam against the Nationals just five days ago.

The Cubs ended up winning the game on- believe it or not -a bunt single from Javier Baez, who added yet another notch on his NL MVP resume, finishing the tough game with three of the Cubs four RBIs.

Randy Rosario came in to shut the door on the Nationals, getting a pop out, a groundout and a strikeout in a clean 12-pitch 10th inning for his first save of the season.

It’s not all smiles for the Cubs though, as some bad news came out of postgame. While trying to run out a double play, closer Pedro Strop suffered a hamstring injury. Even tougher news considering that Maddon used a total of eight relief pitchers during Thursday's matchup.

The Cubs will be back at it on Friday, starting up a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds. And while the Reds are one of the worst teams in baseball right now, no team can be taken for granted as Chicago holds on to a slim 1.5 game lead on the Milwaukee Brewers, and will be in search for a consistent closer with Strop going down. 

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