Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Nationals' Gio Gonzalez to start Game 5 vs. Cubs

Nationals' Gio Gonzalez to start Game 5 vs. Cubs

Baker also initially mentioned that illness aside, the routine-oriented Strasburg threw a bullpen session earlier Tuesday and thus his arm wouldn't be physically prepared to pitch Wednesday.

The decision to start Gonzalez continues a familiar script for Washington: In 2012, the Nationals won Game 4 against the Cardinals, the National League Central and defending World Series champions, behind a huge home run (Jayson Werth's walk-off solo homer) to force a Game 5.

Instead, Washington manager Dusty Baker delivered the biggest surprise of the day. But one aspect of sitting Strasburg on Wednesday might fall on Baker.

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"We have full confidence in Tanner", Baker said.

On Tuesday, the teams took batting practice and the grounds crew got the field ready before bringing out the tarp. The first run of the game came in the top of the third inning, when the normally sure-handed Addison Russell committed an error, scoring Trea Turner from third base.

The weather forecast in Chicago calls for temperatures in the high 50s with the chance of precipitation at over 70 percent all the way until Wednesday morning, according to The Weather Channel's forecast. He was the winning pitcher in Chicago's 3-0 victory in Game 1 at Nationals Park, allowing only two singles in seven innings.

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With the Cubs on the brink of elimination, Joe Maddon named Kyle Hendricks as the team's starting pitcher Game 5 of the NLDS on Thursday. They lost in four games to the San Francisco Giants in 2014, then lost another Game 5 at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers a year ago.

Jay Cohen is an Associated Press writer.

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