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Nationals, Strasburg force Game 5 against Cubs

Stephen Strasburg silenced every critic with an utterly dominant outing to help the Nationals force Game 5 against the Cubs in the NLDS. Strasburg struck out 12 in seven dominant innings, and scattering three Cubs hits in a 5-0 victory to force a decisive Game 5 on Thursday in Washington.

"We didn't put that pressure on him, and I don't think that [Strasburg] would succumb to the pressure from the public or the media or anybody," Nat's manager Dusty Baker said. "You know, he's a grown man. He made that decision on his own and he wanted to pitch, and he was very adamant about how he wanted to pitch and how much better he was feeling."

After nursing flu-like symptoms all week, Strasburg helped to extend the Nat's season.

"The fact that he was much more like the real Stephen Strasburg, we felt that that Stephen Strasburg gave us a much better chance to win Game 4," Nats general manager Mike Rizzo said prior to the game.

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