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WATCH: Albert Almora and Anthony Rizzo Come Up Clutch to Win Game Three of the NLDS

Chicago Cubs Highlights

The Cubs pulled out an incredible 2-1 win today over the Nationals, despite not recording their first hit until the 7th inning.


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That hit came courtesy of Ben Zobrist, who crushed a double to the opposite field gap, and ultimately sent Max Scherzer from the game. And when the Nationals brought in a lefty to face Kyle Schwarber, Joe Maddon countered with Albert Almora … and you know what Albert does to lefties:

It was a great at bat by Almora, and a great piece of hitting to barrel up the ball. I appreciated Zobrist making sure he didn’t get doubled off on that one, too.

From there, the Cubs’ inning ended on an uncharacteristic baserunning mistake from Jason Heyward, but they got right back at it in the 8th. After Tommy La Stella walked to lead off the inning, and Jon Jay sacrificed pinch runner Leonys Martin to second base, the Nationals had a decision: pitch to Kris Bryant with righty Brandon Kintzler, or take advantage of the open base.


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They decided to respect Anthony Rizzo by facing Bryant, who ultimately struck out. From there, the Nationals could have walked Rizzo and faced Willson Contreras with Kintzler, but almost inexplicably decided instead to bring in Oliver Perez to pitch to Rizzo.

Oops:

It’s all about where you hit it, right?

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

To be fair, the Nationals could say they got the poor contact they sought, but why take that chance against Anthony Rizzo in that moment? After you’d just respected him by pitching to Bryant with a base open?

Dusty Baker will not be regarded kindly by Nats fans after this one, I expect.

Rizzo, got any thoughts on how teams should treat you going forward?


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Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation.