Chicago Cubs win Game 1 behind bats of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Kyle Hendricks
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 06: Kyle Hendricks /

The Chicago Cubs won game one of the NLDS behind the bats of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, and the arm of Kyle Hendricks.

It took me 12 hours to dissect what we saw last night. The final verdict was a dominating performance behind Kyle Hendricks, who absolutely shut down the Washington Nationals bats. Which nobody expected. Stephen Strasburg was doing the same to the Chicago Cubs until an error by Anthony Rendon in the top of the sixth. The Cubs would go on to win the game by a score of 3-0. That’s right, the defending champs shutout one of the best offenses in baseball.

The Chicago Cubs, until the 6th inning had only one base runner, an Addison Russell walk in the 2nd inning. Simply put, Stephen Strasburg was on fire and nobody was going to extinguish his flame. Step in Anthony Rendon. On a questionable try by Rendon, where he could have possibly let the ball go foul, he bobbled the ball allowing Baez to reach first base. After a beautiful bunt by Kyle Hendricks, and a fly ball by Zobrist, Kris Bryant would come through in the clutch with a single to right field scoring Baez. Anthony Rizzo would single Bryant in on the next at bat.

Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo may have brought in the teams’ only runs with their deadly bats, but this game would not have been close if not for Kyle Hendricks. In 8 career postseason starts, Hendricks has thrown 41 innings to the tune of a 1.98 ERA. That number is better than some of baseballs’ all time greats at the position. After struggling all regular season, the Chicago Cubs proved to everyone that they are back. And deserve to be respected.

Winning game 2 will go a long way towards deciding the winner of this series. The pitching match-up will be Jon Lester vs Gio Gonzalez, who the Cubs have a history of knocking around. If the team can somehow win both games in DC, we very well could be witnessing a sweep when the series’ gets to Wrigley Field.